Zimbabwe’s major hospitals have run out of drugs that are needed essentially put the lives of millions of people at risk. The situation has become so dire that public health facilities are failing to provide simple painkillers, such as paracetamol.
The National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm), the country’s appointed agent for procurement, storage and distribution of medical supplies to Public health institutions is owed $24 million from as far back as 2009 and only received $800,000 (3.3% of the amount owing) thus making it unable to purchase drugs.
NatPharm is the first port of call for medicines and other medical supplies. having been created through an Act of Parliament, the Government Medical Stores (Commercialisation Act 2000), to take over the functions of the former Government Medical Stores (GMS).
It officially took over the functions of GMS on October 1, 2001 and was established as an autonomous not-for-profit organisation, registered in terms of Section 26 of the Companies Act (Chapter 24:03).
It is 100 percent government-owned.
Hospital are now resorting to buying drugs with the money that they would have raised from patients paying admission fees, often demanding the money in advance in order to procure necessary medication.
The situation has been on going for a while now, with patients now being given prescriptions to buy medicine from private pharmacies which are more expensive.
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