Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital has set up measures to curb drug theft. The hospital has set up a pharmacy for in-patients that will distribute drugs to the patient’s wards.
Grace Rubale, the Principal Hospital Administrator explains that from the pharmacy, the drugs will then be supplied to the patients only on request by the in-charge of the ward and with proof of a patient’s medical file.
Rubale, says that the new system will help ensure accountability of the drugs that have been supplied to the hospital by the National Medical Stores-NMS.
She explains that in the past, medical workers were being given drugs in large quantities to distribute in wards, which created room for theft.
Dr. Charles Olal, the Director Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital says that the hospital has in the past lost anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and Coartem, which affected service delivery to patients. He says the drugs are resold on the open market at a cheaper cost.
According to a report compiled by the State House Health Monitoring Unit, the theft of drugs is the key reason that has kept health facilities across the country in perennial lack of drugs, notwithstanding the fact that drugs are always supplied.
The report implicates health workers for diverting the drugs to private clinics and drug shops, which has retarded the delivery of health services. The report also notes that health workers are either accomplices in the scam or they are often absent from their duty stations when the drugs are stolen.