Health Director-General (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today refuted a news report that claimed that many government hospitals nationwide are facing critical shortage of Covid-19 medicine and assured that while there have been increased demand, there is no break in medicine supply. As reported by national news agency Bernama, Noor Hisham said that medicines were still being received in stages as the Ministry of Health (KKM) had taken various approaches to overcome the problem of supply.
Furthermore, the Health DG also clarified that the demand for medicines, specifically the ones used for treating Covid-19 has indeed increased drastically since May this year following a spike in cases locally and worldwide but KKM has introduced several procurement measures to counter this. These measures include:
- Keeping in constant communication with suppliers to get supply priority for Malaysia.
- Seeking alternative sources of medications under federal contracts.
- Making emergency procurements at the national and state Health Department levels.
- Facilitating off-contract purchases for 21 types of medicines related to Covid-19 treatment.
Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham further asserted,
“KKM also continues to hold discussions with medical specialists on alternative medicines that are suitable for use to ensure continuity in treatment. This is not limited to the Ministry of Health Medicines Formulary but encompasses all registered and non-registered medicines which can be obtained to meet our needs,”
The Health DG stressed that for the sake of the people’s well-being, KKM is committed to cooperating with various parties to ensure the availability of medical supplies and the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines procured.
Recently, the demand for medicines in Malaysia has increased by 10 to 15 times compared to pre-Covid period. KKM was also told that due to a shortage of raw materials, there have been disruptions in supplies from pharmaceutical companies overseas following the pandemic and at the same time, local manufacturers having limited capability to provide a big amount of stocks in a short period.
What do you guys think of Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham’s statement? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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