Health Sector Leaders Must Ensure Quality, Safety Of Drugs Procurement System – Experts

Chioma Umeha
Leaders in the health sector have been tasked to ensure all health institutions’ drugs procurement system was safeguarded to guarantee quality.
Dr Babatunde Ipaye, Ogun State Commissioner for Health made the call at a Leadership Retreat and Health Summit organised by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State Chapter on Monday in Lagos.
Ipaye explained,  whatever system is adopted will eventually translate to what the patients will consume.
“The way we procure drugs must be streamlined to ensure technical and financial efficiency so that the quality is guaranteed and all the logistic outlines from the point of procurement.
“Also, we must procure where possible, from the manufacturers and where the manufacturers are not in the country, we must procure from distributors or sales agents that have got manufacturer’s authorisation.
“This will allow everybody takes drugs and sell to the hospitals.
“This will not allow room for smart businessmen to bring, sometimes, unwholesome products into our tertiary hospital space.
“T he best way to prevent that is not to just trust people for who they call themselves, but to ensure that the procurement system is safeguarded in a way that we need to deal with the appropriate people,” he said.
The commissioner also called for the need for leaders in the health sector to develop managerial skills.
He said that leadership responsibility was about managing resources efficiently to deliver the desired results.
“The technical skills are not enough and there must be deliberate decision for the leaders in the health sector to build capacity of leaders across all levels.
“This is in order for the management of our hospitals and the health space to be well structured, like we manage some other sectors for results,” Ipaye said.
Also,  Dr Leke Pitan,  a former Lagos State Commissioner for Health and Education,
identified inadequate resource management as a challenge facing a lot of crisis in the health sector.
Pitan said; “Some human attitudinal aspect come in when government do not respond early or promptly and keep procrastinating.
“If we can appreciate that health ought to be managed as a business, albeit a social business, in the sense that there will be supply and demand sides; we just need to ensure both are optimal in level.
“The government need to provide enabling environment for both sides.
“In the supply side, if the private sector is encouraged, they will provide the facilities through private public partnership, in government facilities where it becomes more obvious.
“Once the demand side is empowered enough to have the purchasing power, that can take off the service. “
Contributing,  Dr Saliu Oseni, the NMA Chairman, said that the event was an initiative of the association aimed at contributing its quota to the improvement of policies and its implementation in the health sector.

“It is imperative that we ensure the sustenance of our role as the custodian of the health of our people.
“In this essence, we need to synergise as members of a family to consolidate on previous gains and be deliberate on taking actions that will move the health sector forward,” Oseni said.