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Why medicine supply rots in gov't hospitals

Why medicine supply rots in gov't hospitals

By: Jethro C. Dionisio

CEBU CITY: While many Filipinos can hardly get medicines from the government, millions’ worth of medicines and vaccines are virtually rotting in stockrooms of government hospitals in Central Visayas, the Commission on Audit reported.

After inspecting supplies for 2005, the COA said that some P3.6-million worth of medicines and vaccines has either decayed or expired while some P46-million worth more is expected to be wasted due to mishandling or poor storage, like lack of ventilation.

Most of these medicines have discolored either due to overexposure to cold because hospitals failed to defrost their refrigeration units or for lack of refrigeration facilities.

COA auditors also discovered that part of the stockroom for medicines and vaccines at the Department of Heath regional office was converted into a badminton court, exposing the stocks to theft.

COA said medicines and vaccine stocks at the Botica ng Barangay operated by the government-run Don Vicente Memorial Medical Center are nearing their expiry dates.

The commission reminded hospital officials of the government’s policy to dispose of the medicines at no cost when they are nearing their expiry dates.

DOH officials explained that the oversupply of stocks from the central office caused medical and vaccine supplies to rot, because hospitals fail to discard these medicines in time. The health department is implementing an expanded health program to fight polio and other diseases.

The health officials blamed the National Statistics Office for having overestimated population figures for the year 2005.

In an interview Monday some employees at the regional office blamed the central office in Manila for sending last year medicines that were about to expire.

FROM: The Manila Times

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