Supply chain maturity framework for MOPH is not suited for Guyana

Dear Editor,
In the December 14, 2018 issue of a section of the media, it was stated that the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) gets strategic support to boost procurement capabilities from its international partners that uses a supply chain maturity framework as a measure of success. The framework outlines five levels from Canvas to Accredited and in between, there are Bronze, Silver and Gold. The accredited level requires that our health supply chain system become privatised or at minimum, a competitive process of public-private partnership (PPP).
On this substantive point, it is important to note that there is no guarantee a privatised system will provide better service than a Government operated system. In the world today, the best healthcare systems are managed under Government control, with the most notable being Cuba, Canada and the Scandinavian region. Also, this framework has not determined whether Guyana’s unique conditions would allow such a framework to effectively improve the supply chain system.
Currently there are medicines being stored in a bottom house, a decision made by the very leaders of the MOPH who are currently creating the impression that they are striving for excellence. The PPP Government never allowed medicines to be stored in such conditions to put the public’s health at risk.
Prior to 2015, there was in place, a standard equivalent to the gold level; however, it was downgraded to a lower level after this Government took over. Therefore, the strategic support that now presents itself is simply a means to correct this Government’s incompetence on many levels. A Government operated health supply chain system has already proven to be successful.
What we truly need is strong and visionary leadership in the healthcare system that understands how to implement a supply chain system to meet Guyana’s unique conditions. We should not be measured by a framework that lacks the flexibility to recognise our needs a as country. Our success must be measure foremost by the availability of medicines and supplies through the development of a system that’s organic to our needs and can be effectively managed by the Government.
For far too long we have been receiving consultants who write and copy and paste long policies and guidelines that becomes ineffective as soon as the consultant leaves. It is unfortunate that this Government did not have the foresight and will to build on the success that the previous Government built in the health sector.

Malcolm Watkins, MS