The Western Cape Government (WCG) has accused the National Department of Health (NDoH) of pharmaceutical tender maladministration in light of the events that took place over the last few weeks.

During the debate “An Effective Health Care System: Continuing in our collective path to ensure a comprehensive health care system in South Africa” at the National Council of Provinces held on November 20th, WC Minister of Health, Thenus Botha, said that as a result of poor management and the late award of pharmaceutical tenders by the NDoH, as well as the removal from contracts of coded medicines not listed in the National Essential Medicines list, certain medication is currently in short supply across the country.

“Many of the new contracted suppliers are also unable to increase their production immediately in order to meet the demands of their contract with national government. These stock outs are unfortunately affecting all provinces,” said Botha.

Botha went on to say that the NDoH is denying there is a crisis, and that “unfortunately other provinces cannot raise their devastating medication shortages in their provinces because they are bound by their allegiance to the ANC, which is put ahead of the needs of patients.”

“The WC, however, is committed to raising this with the NDoH- as this is what should happen in a constitutional democracy that puts the rights of citizens first. Of equal concern is that the leadership of the NDoH has either blatantly lied about the stock outs, or is so detached from reality that they are unaware of their own inabilities when it comes to managing tenders,” continued Botha.

Minister Botha concluded by saying that the National Minister and management in the NDoH should focus on addressing this serious issue of stock outs.

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