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PM appoints 15-member health task team

image ACTION MAN: Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini addressing the press conference. (Pic Gugu Simelane).

Drug shortages in the country’s health facilities will soon be a thing of the past as the Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini has appointed an Inter-ministerial task team on health service delivery.

The 15-member task team resumed its duties yesterday after the press conference which was held at the Cabinet offices.

The head of government said the prime minister’s inter-ministerial task team on health delivery were commissioned following the serious challenges that have emerged in the form of an inconsistent availability of medicines from the Central Medical Stores. 

He said a preliminary assessment revealed that there were a number of shortcomings which included late payments to suppliers, capacity weakness in a number of disciplines and lack of accountability in inventory control.

Solutions

Former Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology Sikelela Dlamini has been appointed chairman of the task team.

According to the prime minister who is fresh from an operation in Taiwan, the team consists of professionals in key ministries who will examine the problem analytically and objectively and with the greatest urgency. 

The team has been given six weeks to produce a report containing the initial solutions. 

 “An interim report will be submitted to the office of the prime minister on June 13, 2017 and the final report will be delivered on July 18, 2017,” he said.

Dlamini highlighted that the terms of reference for the work of the task team include the designing of a methodology that will identify and analyse the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats in the area of supply of medicine and medical supplies. 

He said the team would also present a schematic framework of the supply chain system with ministerial responsibilities clearly assigned. 

Resources

“There will also be an accountability policy drawn up for all relevant stakeholders,” he said.

The prime minister further said from this work, there will be a set of time-based, quantified and measurable action, outputs and outcome targets to achieve the intended solution within a reasonable time. 

“Cash flow projections would also be produced along with realistic and acceptable plan payments to suppliers to the fullest extent within the parameters of the government budget. 

There will also be a stock control system established that will ensure purchases and issues are properly authorised and any material discrepancies fully investigated.

 The health of the people of our country, the Kingdom of Swaziland, is of the highest priority to His Majesty’s government. Regarding the health service that is provided by government to our people, all systems and processes are designed to maximise the quality of the service that can be delivered with the resources available,” he said.

 

PEPFAR to provide technical assistance

The Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini revealed that the task team has an urgent and challenging assignment hence the United States government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will provide expert technical assistance in an advisory capacity to the Inter-Ministerial. 

The prime minister further said the identification of the supply of drugs as the subject matter for the task team does not presume that all other aspects of the government health service do not warrant a similar examination. 

He said an assessment of that will be dealt with separately. 

“In the first instance we must therefore concentrate our expert human resources on resolving the immediate problem of supply of medicines and medical supplies,’’ he said.

Medical suppliers’ debts 

have been paid, PM says

government has paid most of the money owed to suppliers.

Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini therefore said the nation can expect that there will be sufficient medicine in the health facilities.

He however said there is no excuse for the situation where health facilities are without medicine at any time. 

“When defects such as these become evident, then immediate action to remedy the problem is essential. In taking this initiative, my office recognises the extent of the challenges faced by the ministry of health, and will work closely with the ministry to ensure it operates at optimum efficiency and provides the nation with the service it deserves,” he said

Minister of Health Sibongile Ndlela-Simelane added that 90 per cent of the total debt to medical suppliers has been paid. 

She said in January 2017, the debt to suppliers stood at over E400 million and by May it had been paid down to E236 million.

 

The Task Team is as follows

 

1. Sikelela Dlamini Chairperson

2. Fortunate Bhembe Chief Pharmacist – Secretary

3.Dr Makhosazana Dlamini Mbabane Gvt. Hospital’s Senior Medical Officer

4.Sincedzile Dlamini Ministry of Health’s Procument Officer

5.Dr Vusi Magagula Director of Health Services

6.Lonkhululeko Magagula Chief Economist

7.Thuli Magagula Mbabane Gvt. Hospital Pharmacist

8.Zinhle Matsebula RFM’s Hospital Pharmacist

9.Brenda Dlamini Central Medical Stores’ Phamarcist

10. Dumsile Ngwenya Accountant General

11.Khangezile Jele e-Governement Specialist

12. Zandile Dlamini Attorney General’s Office

13. Dr Thembisile Khumalo Chief Nursing Officer

14. Maxwell Masuku Management Services Division, Ministry of Public Service

15. Vusi Dlamini Budget Director, Ministry of Finance

 

 

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