Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said drugmaker Pharmaniaga Bhd’s contract to supply medication to government hospitals will continue, following a review of all concessions under the new Pakatan Harapan government.
Pharmaniaga’s contract, which runs out in November 2019, was one of those under review following the change in administration after the 14th General Election.
Dr Lee said the drugmaker has been complying with its contract requirements and technical specifications.
He said Pharmaniaga supplies the government with one-third of medication to public hospitals.
Pharmaniaga’s 10-year contract was reviewed as there were accusations that the company was monopolising the medical supply business to government hospitals.
The Health Ministry had said the review of contracts would allow it to optimise its supply chain.
“In the case of Pharmaniaga, we will continue with its contract, which will end in November next year, as it has complied with the key performance indicators (KPIs) set by us and met with the technical aspects of our requirements,” he said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Previously, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had denied claims of a monopoly by Pharmaniaga. He had said the claims were incorrect because there are more than one supplier to the government and other vendors are supplying medication directly to individual government hospitals and that all supply deals were done through open tenders.
Pharmaniaga’s contract began on Dec 1, 2009, to purchase, store, supply, as well as distribute approved drugs and medical products to go vernment hospitals and clinics.
Speaking at the APHM International Healthcare Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Dr Lee said the ministry is looking at attracting more partnerships with private hospitals to supplement government hospital services.
“There have been partnerships between private and public hospitals such as specialists in government hospitals are allowed to do visits in private hospitals, and vice versa.
“Government hospitals also acquire services that are unavailable in our hospitals from the private hospitals. For example, KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital is providing radiotherapy treatment to Ipoh’s general hospital, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, at a discounted rate,” he said.
Dr Lee said there is some shortage of specialists because they tend to move into the more lucrative private healthcare. In order to retain these specialists, the government has been easing some restrictions to allow its doctors to provide services at private hospitals if it does not interfere with their government duties.
On a separate note, Dr Lee revealed Selangor has recorded the highest cases of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) with over 11,000 recorded since January.
“To date, there are 11,669 cases out of 39,408 cases recorded since January in Selangor, putting it at the top of the list. This is followed by Kuala Lumpur with 4,552 cases and Sarawak with 4,551 cases,” he said