Home » General » ZIMBABWE:MAJOR HOSPITALS LEFT WITH TWO WEEKS’ SUPPLY OF ESSENTIAL DRUGS

Pharmaceutical wholesalers have warned that Zimbabwe will be short of essential drugs in two weeks unless the central bank acts quickly to execute international payments.

The wholesalers have informed the Zimbabwe Medical association (ZIMA) of this acute shortage of drugs.

According to the association, drugs affected include those for chronic diseases such as diabetes (insulin), cancer drugs (chemotherapy), psychiatric drugs (anti-psychotic) and theatre drugs (anaesthetics).

With a tanked economy, Zimbabwe has been struggling with shortages of the US dollar, the currency of preference for many, forcing the central bank to prioritise international payments.

The forex crunch has however not affected President Robert Mugabe who is currently holidaying abroad and also managed to pay a Lebanese dealer about $1.4m to get a diamond ring for his wife.

ZIMA secretary general, Dr Shingi Bopoto, told NewZimbabwe.com that the problem affecting the hospitals was not down to the health or finance ministries but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) which is not remitting money to foreign suppliers.

"We are told that sometimes payments are talking up to three months to be processed," he said.

"And some of these drugs are very critical and are ordered when the need arises. We are also informed that some of the major hospitals have been left with just two weeks' supply of drugs.

He added: "These pharmaceutical wholesalers have money in their accounts and they have made Real Time Gross Settlements (RTGS) to their suppliers outside the country.

"It is these remittances that are not going out and, as a result, it is taking long for their orders to be processed. You would be aware that Zimbabwe does not manufacture a lot of drugs."

An appeal to the RBZ from one of the country's major referral hospitals seen by this publication says over the past few months they have faced numerous challenges in restocking critical pharmaceuticals medicines.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Archives