MPs to discuss proposed medical supply body

Members of Parliament yesterday agreed to begin discussions on a government plan to establish an independent medical supply body, which will take over the responsibility of procuring medical supplies,  currently under the Medical Production, Procurement and Distribution Division (MPPD).  

They made the approval yesterday as the government tabled before the Lower House a new draft law governing Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and determining its mission, organisation and functioning.

Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the State Minister in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care, said that separating the division from RBC will ease procurement. 

“It will reduce the delays that were happening in the medical procurement process,” he said while tabling the draft law before the House.

It is expected that the new body will combine MPPD and Rwanda Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LABOPHAR) as well as district pharmacies across the country.

Among other legislators, MP Marie-Florence Uwanyirigira, supported the draft law.

She also said that though the new body will be created, it needs to stay in touch with RBC so they can complete each other in their missions.

An explanatory note of the draft law says that it has been decided that MPPD cannot meet its mission while serving under another autonomous entity, RBC.

It was difficult for MPPD to make decisions promptly as expected of such an entity, the explanatory note said, and it needed to have an independent Board to expedite decision making, management and internal administration.

The Government said that, under the wings of RBC, MPPD had challenges that include lack of flexibility in the procurement law to accommodate situations that often occur in the health sector.

For example, the monopolistic medical suppliers who may have their own rules such as 100 per cent upfront payment was presented challenge which MPPD was having an issue dealing with.

Under the proposed changes in the law governing RBC, the latter will remain an implementing and coordinating treatment and other healthcare policies and strategies agency with all public healthcare facilities on behalf of the Ministry of Health instead of procuring for medicines through MPPD.