Gauteng hospitals short of 10 000 drugs

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Gauteng hospitals are currently short of 10 000 medicine items, with only 77% availability of medicines on the Essential Drugs List.

This shocking information was revealed today by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, the shortage is because newly contracted suppliers are still building up stock.

She said that patients were being switched to available equivalent medicines, and drugs were being sought from alternative suppliers, including overseas – which should arrive by 10 December.

This situation is very unsatisfactory and should never have been allowed to happen.

Operations have been cancelled because of a shortage of anaesthetic drugs and doctors tell me that patients’ health is compromised by less than ideal medicine substitutions.

I hope that this medicine crisis is resolved as soon as possible and measures are taken to ensure 100% availability of essential drugs.