Monday, May 23, 2005

Ministry of Health's bank account is empty :: Khaleej Times

When contacted, Humaid Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary of Pharmacy and Supplies at the Ministry of Health (MoH), confirmed that the ministry has received warnings from some drug firms to cease importing essential products once the ministry failed to pay them their dues.
He said the MoH is involved in negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and the pharmaceutical companies that are much affected, to resolve the issue and make sure all drug firms dealing with the ministry received their pending entitlements.
He pointed out that there are more than 100 pharmaceutical companies that import 800 different drug products to the ministry, in addtion to other sundries.

Elaborating on pending dues, Abdullah Mohammed Al Ahmadi, Manager of the Finance Department at the MoH, said there was no set deadline to pay the companies, noting the ministry faces a financial problem. "There is no deadline to pay back these firms. We pay drug companies on annual basis. There is a Dh25 million deficit in allocations for drugs and medical supplies," Ahmadi said. He said the ministry of finance has earmarked Dh95 million for drugs and medical supplies while the actual financial needs was estimated at Dh120 million.
I'm not sure what is going on. It sounds as simple as this: the MoH has ordered drugs and does not have the money to pay for them. It sounds as if these are drugs that are disbursed to patients at no charge, presumably citizens.


Blogger Keefieboy said...

The drug budget is not for distribution to nationals FOC only- MOH drug supplies are dispensed to via clinics to anybody for a fee (which is lower for locals) and used in Government hospitals on a daily basis.

I find it quite amazing (well, no, I don't really) that the MOH expects its suppliers to wait up to a year for payment.

My personal opinion on the Gubmnt health service in Dubai is that they are giving up - there's a whole lot of private-sector stuff going up, but I have not seen any plans for an affordable Gubmnt hospital to be built in 'New Dubai'.

They have also recently introduced some outrageous charges for various services (only expats have to pay), for example, Dubai Hospital now charges Dhs 800 for a dialysis session. If you need dialysis, you need it three times a week. This totals Dhs 10,000 a month - this represents a pretty good salary for a Westerner, but is way above what our Eastern buddies can earn in a month.

Needs looking at, but quick, given that there is almost no health insurance cover available in the UAE.

9:13 PM  

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