MPs Call for Meeting with National Medical Stores Over Medicine Shortages

Government Health Centers Face Drug Shortages: MPs Seek NMS Explanation
Government Health Centers Face Drug Shortages: MPs Seek NMS Explanation
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The Parliamentary Committee on Health intends to speak with the National Medical Stores (NMS) regarding ongoing problems with medicine shortages in government health centers. This decision came after appeals from leaders in Luwero and Mpigi districts regarding shortages caused by NMS’s failure to deliver supplies as scheduled.

During their recent oversight tour, Luwero District Health Officer Dr. Innocent Nkonwa informed Members of Parliament that NMS successfully delivered essential drugs for four out of six scheduled cycles in the 2022/23 fiscal year. However, in the current fiscal year, 2023/24, NMS has not delivered any drugs, leaving health centers without necessary supplies.

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Luwero Hospital and Health Center IIIs have been particularly affected, with essential drugs worth 173 million Shillings and 161 million Shillings, respectively, going undelivered in the previous fiscal year. These persistent shortages have created opportunities for corruption, as medical staff sometimes resort to selling their own drugs within government facilities.

In addition to the timing issues, Mariam Kaberuka, the Luwero Deputy Resident District Commissioner, pointed out that NMS also delivers non-essential drugs, eroding trust in government health centers among residents.

Brenda Nabukenya, the Luwero District Woman Member of Parliament, expressed concerns about NMS’s performance and the need for a review before allocating more funds to the organization.

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Dr. Charles Ayume, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, mentioned that beyond the appeals from Luwero and Mpigi, there is a nationwide outcry due to NMS’s failure to provide medicines. Consequently, they have decided to summon the National Medical Stores to explain why they have not fulfilled their mandate despite receiving funding for procurement.

In the 2022/23 fiscal year, 440 people died from various diseases within health centers, with some of these deaths attributed to the lack of necessary drugs.

In a recent press statement, Sheila Nduhukire, the Principal Public Relations Officer of the National Medical Stores, attributed the delays in medical supplies to the late receipt of funds from the Ministry of Finance.


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