Why are so many hospitals short of drugs?

Ho Chi Minh CityThe impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the number of patients increased rapidly, many drugs had not been registered to renew their registration numbers, some rare drugs were no longer in production… making it difficult for some hospitals to procure drugs.

Answer VnExpress On June 2, a representative of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City said that in the past time, the phenomenon of drug shortage occurred locally in some drugs at a few units.

Last month, some drug items at Thu Duc City Hospital were not enough to meet the needs of patients, many patients with health insurance cards had to go out to buy drugs, instead of being paid by insurance. In April, Cho Ray Hospital also ran out of some drugs on the list of drugs covered by health insurance, causing many kidney transplant patients to have to buy drugs outside, costing 6-15 million VND.

The Department of Health has requested and guided the units to overcome this situation, so as not to affect the treatment and care of patients. Particularly the recent incident is the lack of radioactive drugs used in PET-CT machines in hospitals and cities, which has been instructed by the Ministry of Health to sign a contract with Cho Ray Hospital while waiting for the Ministry to appraise and license the company. production of radioactive drugs.

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Van Mai, at the National Assembly session last week, said that recently, medical facilities were afraid to buy, leading to a shortage of drugs and equipment. According to the city’s Department of Health, there areThere are many reasons leading to drug shortages in some hospitals. In particular, the Covid-19 epidemic lasted in 2021-2022, affecting the supply and procurement of drugs, medical supplies and equipment of the hospital. The hospital’s logistics department focuses on maximizing resources for the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic and solving post-pandemic problems.

In particular, since the beginning of the year, the number of patients has increased rapidly at most hospitals after the Covid-19 epidemic was basically controlled, leading to a local shortage of some drugs and medical supplies. in a few hospitals. For example, at Thu Duc City Hospital, in August 2021, more than 28,000 turns of patients with health insurance cards had outpatient visits, but by April 2022, that had increased to nearly 75,500 visits. The sudden increase in the number of patients made some drug products not enough to meet the needs of patients.

Another important reason is that the drugs on the list of national-level centralized bidding and the list of applying the price negotiation method implemented by the National Center for Centralized Drug Procurement have not yet produced results, leading to their disqualification. activities in drug supply in health facilities. For example, the drugs that are lacking for kidney transplant patients at Cho Ray Hospital belong to the group of drugs for national price negotiation, the shortage of drugs is due to the delay in waiting for the bidding results. The hospital held an emergency meeting to find a solution, over-purchased one of the missing drugs and organized the procurement in the form of appointing contractors for the remaining drugs to have emergency drugs, then bidding widely according to regulations. .

In addition, some objective cases could not select the winning product because there were no bidders to attend or the product had a higher bid price than the planned price (after the epidemic, some items increased in price) or a Some drugs on the list of rare drugs are no longer produced. The multi-price serum against the venom of the scorpion, scorpion, king tiger, and ground tiger is an example. Currently, Ho Chi Minh City hospitals do not have this serum to treat snakebite patients, because this type was previously imported from Thailand. However, since the Covid-19 outbreak last year until now, this supply has not returned, so the market is scarce.

According to the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, the hospital cannot buy drugs because many drugs have not been extended by the Ministry of Health, so suppliers cannot import and deploy production in a timely manner. In addition, the Government’s Decree 98/2021 has just been issued with many new contents, so many contractors have not been able to meet the required documents and papers in time.

“In the face of recent incidents related to inspection, audit, investigation on procurement of drugs and medical equipment nationwide, there is more or less anxiety among hospital managers when conducting conduct procurement according to regulations”, a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health said.

Pharmacy at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Image: Hospital provides

Over the past time, hospitals have removed difficulties, supplementing missing drug sources by direct procurement or appointment of contractors in emergency situations, until the bidding results in 2022. A quick test of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City has just been carried out at 32 medical examination and treatment facilities, recording 27 hospitals that have had the results of contractor selection for the on-site drug procurement bidding package in 2021-2022, four hospitals will have contractor selection results in June and one hospital expected to have contractor selection results in July. For hospitals that do not yet have contractor selection results, the hospital will carry out additional procurement in while waiting for the contractor selection result. Currently, hospitals basically ensure enough medicine to supply patients, according to the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City.

To solve drug shortageTo meet the medical examination and treatment needs of the people, the representative of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City proposed to the Ministry of Health to soon extend and re-issue registration numbers for drugs that have expired registration numbers. The National Centralized Drug Procurement Center soon has the results of drug price negotiation and national centralized bidding. At the same time, the Ministry of Health needs to issue and update circulars and documents guiding the implementation of Decree 98/2021 of the Government related to the procurement of medical supplies and equipment.

A few days ago, the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City proposed to the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City re-establishing a centralized shopping center for goods and public assets of the health sector in the direction of professionalism, the scale is large enough to meet the huge needs of medical facilities in the area.

This proposal was supported by many hospital leaders. Doctor Nguyen Khac Vui, Deputy Director of Saigon General Hospital, said that the solution to set up a centralized shopping center will promote its effectiveness, provided it has a specialized team, adequate human resources, and operational activities. independent activities, focusing only on the procurement of drugs, supplies and equipment for the city. “If the staff were part-time as before, they would not be able to do it,” said Doctor Vui.

Doctors believe that large-scale centralized bidding, because the professional team will help procure good prices, uniform prices, doctors in the hospital will have time to focus instead of worrying about shopping. expertise, develop new techniques, and serve patients more.

As for rare and rarely used drugs for patients, doctors believe that there should be a national-level reserve and coordination center, any hospital that needs it should contact to get drugs, helping patients to receive timely treatment. in the golden time, instead of each place taking the initiative to reserve as it is now.

The director of a first-class general hospital said that according to regulations, hospitals must make a procurement plan on the list of drugs, the number of drugs for the whole year, and submit it to the management agencies for approval. If you have planned, purchased drugs during the year but do not use them, to expire, the hospital must be responsible. “Meanwhile, with rare diseases, there are times when buying drugs to keep in storage for a long time but no patients use them, when there are patients who need to use them, that year may not have the drugs ready,” said Dr. this doctor said.

Le Phuong – Hoang Thuy


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