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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Health ministry doubles drug budget to Dhs300m

By PMA RASHEED 
9 April 2011, The Gulf Today 

The fund for purchasing medicines for hospitals and health centres in the public sector has been doubled by the UAE Ministry of Health (MoH) by 100 per cent, from Dhs150 million spent in 2010 to an outlay of Dhs300 million this year.
The authority is currently implementing a new mechanism to purchase all the necessary medicines in advance for 2011, indicated a top MoH official.
Khalid Majid Lootah, assistant undersecretary for Institutional and Supporting Services at the MoH, said the procedure would identify the need for drugs at the various health facilities, while enabling each hospital to clearly specify the requirements simultaneously.
“The system will be completely implemented next year, and the MoH will give out the drugs to all hospitals based on their requirements. The issues pertaining to shortage of drugs for chronic diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure will be resolved fully once it’s fully operational,” he added.
“Painkillers and vaccinations for various diseases worth Dhs56 million have been included in the current year’s budget for drugs to be supplied at the government hospitals. The value of drugs to be purchased to be used for treatment of chronic diseases has been estimated at Dhs17 million,” he revealed.
“The total cost of medicine purchases by the ministry during the two past months had reached Dhs117 million. Around Dhs752,000 have been allocated to guarantee the required medicines at the hospitals and health centres for the coming six months,” noted Lootah. 
Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, UAE Minister of Health, said the decision comes to ensure essential medicines to all residents in the country, by guaranteeing sufficient quantity of medicines at the government health facilities in all medical districts.
“The federal authority has issued a circular to implement the new electronic system Wareed at all facilities. The automated system will effectively regulate the availability of medicines and rectify shortage of drugs with accuracy and efficiency,” he added.
Lootah called directors of all hospitals and health centres to inform the ministry on the drug requirement within sufficient time to speed up supply procedures easily and smoothly.
“This will enable the MoH to take the right decision at the right time, and estimate financial allocations and adopt the purchasing items according to the unified purchasing agreements in the GCC countries,” he concluded.

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