Health summit set to discuss drugs shortage in hospitals

12Nov 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Health summit set to discuss drugs shortage in hospitals

SHORTAGE of drugs in public hospitals in the country will be among topics to be discussed during the third Tanzania Health Summit (THS) expected to commence on Monday in Dar es Salaam.

Themed ‘Toward universal access to health care: The role of public and private sectors’, the summit is expected to attract over 700 experts and 53 health institutions worldwide.

President of the Health Summit Dr. Omary Chillo told the press in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the two-day summit will see more than 80 speakers within and outside the country present different papers to showcase the health status in the country.

“Drugs shortage is still a great challenge in most public hospitals,” he said, adding that the summit will therefore come up with an agenda that would be used by policy makers to solve the menace.

Among topics to be discussed are the role of private and public sectors in providing health services; Tanzania’s effort to achieve strategic goal of life with good health and laws;

occupational safely and health in Tanzania and what should be done to improve it.
Also on the list of topics is demand to have domestic manufacturing industry and what should be done to meet the target.

The summit president hoped that, through discussions and experiences from different experts at the summit, the country can be able to solve persisting challenges facing public hospitals.

Last month there were reports in the local media about serious drug shortages in various public hospitals in the country even as parliament had already passed the 2016/17 budget.

The government decision to ensure that every public hospital is equipped with a modern pharmacy which would sell drugs to patients at low prices seems not to have well received and implemented by the medical stores department as a number of patients were reported to be buying medicine in private pharmacies at higher prices.

The move, however, forced the responsible minister, Ummy Mwalimu, to speak out, saying the media, opposition parties and activists were to blame for exaggerating the problem.