Bid to tackle health crisis
THE Limpopo department of health has effectively de-privatised procurement and warehousing of medicines by taking over provincial medicine depots in a bid to end nearly six years of a supply crisis.
The department said the move was aimed at improving health services in the province.
It added the plan had been on the cards since 2006 and was not in reaction to a recent crisis.
The controversial medicine depot had been outsourced to Vuna Health Care Solutions, whose contract has expired.
"Back in 2006 the management made an assessment and found that the way in which we were procuring medicines and distributing it left the department without control," department spokesman Phuti Seloba said.
He said the takeover would ensure there were no further shortages.
"When you outsource you don't have supervision. We depend more on service level agreement with the service providers."
Tons of expired medicines that included ARVs and other chronic medications were found at the depots.
Seloba said they were still investigating the allegations.
Health MEC Norman Mabasa will today also visit the depots to assess the situation.
Cosatu yesterday welcomed the move by the department, saying it was long overdue that such services and others be handled internally.
Cosatu provincial secretary, Dan Sebabi, said they would be intensifying their call for other services to be handled internally.
He said laundry and hospital security services also needed to be de-privatised since they had a potential to unlock thousands of jobs.
"This is a clear sign that privatisation has failed," Sebabi said.