Botswana: Health Ministry to Automate Tender Processes

Gaborone — In an effort to reduce manual work, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will soon be processing tenders through the Integrated Procurement Management System.

This was revealed by the minister, Dr Alfred Madigele during a stakeholder meeting between Central Medical Stores (CMS) and suppliers on Monday during which the two engaged in exploiting ways of improving supply-chain management of health commodities.

Dr Madigele said the ministry was working on installing a system that would improve turnaround time on procurement and finance processes as some non-value adding processes would be reduced.

The system, he said, would be interfaced with other government systems to enhance efficiency and possibly curb some of the internal issues which affected suppliers' competitiveness.

Some of these issues included among others, contract management, resulting in lack of enforcement of terms and conditions of contracts; under resourcing especially human capital both in terms of skills, knowledge and/or numbers especially in procurement and finance, he said.

"My Ministry has always recognized the importance of partnerships in the health sector. We cannot do it alone.

Please open up and share with us issues that affect supply chain management which will eventually improve availability of medicines and other medical commodities," he pleaded.

Deliberating on issues of costs of acquisition of commodities, the ministry's permanent secretary Ms Ruth Maphorisa urged attendants to erect transparent channels of communication to curb issues emanating such as corruption.

She said that would allow the two parties to hold regular meetings to give each other feedback on issues they discussed amongst themselves and allow for a proper supply-chain management of health commodities.

"The supplier should adopt the mindset that they are not just a supplier but also a stakeholder in the health sector as is the CMS. The two should know that they are both working for a reason, and that is to procure medical commodities for the health of the people," Ms Maphorisa said.

The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders involved in the continuous supply and availability of health commodities to the ministry to deliberate on issues and exchange ideas as well as find a common ground for addressing matters related to the supply of medicines among others. END

Source : BOPA

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