The Management of National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, has denied allegations that the Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) scheme in the hospital is in shambles.
The hospital, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mrs Adenike Ayo, described the allegation that Medical Director of the hospital personally or singularly handles the procurement process of drugs in the hospital as libelous and malicious.
According to Mrs Ayo, the purported letter signed by the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) alleging that the Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) scheme in the hospital, is in shambles, was untrue
She said the procurement of drugs into the hospital follows guidelines as recommended in the National Drug Policy 3rd edition 2021 Section 4.2, sub-section IV page 8* which states that; ‘Procurement at all levels shall be by open competitive tender and in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007 and other extant rules, regulations and circulars, as amended, and shall be conducted transparently with the advice of the Pharmacy Department of health facilities’.
According to her, the Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) Committee of the hospital is responsible for all the processes involved in the procurement of drugs in the hospital.
The committee, she added, comprises of a Surgeon, the Heads of Pharmacy, Procurement, Accounts, Audit, Nursing, Legal unit of the Institution and Head of Pharmacy Store.
Mrs Ayo said: “This diverse and multidisciplinary nature of membership in the committee ensures that no single individual can influence the process for their personal interest and gains. It ensures the availability of affordable, safe and good quality drugs.
“The entire process of pre-qualification, the technical and financial bid review and the final selection of drug suppliers is carried out by this committee, of which the Medical Director is NOT a member.
“These reports are forwarded to the Medical Director for the final approval in accordance with the Public Procurement Act 2007 which states in section 20, sub-section (1) page A221 that ‘The accounting officer of a procuring entity shall be the person charged with line supervision of the conduct of all procurement processes; in the case of ministries, the Permanent Secretary and in the case of extra-ministerial departments and corporations the Director-General (Medical Director) or officer of co-ordinate responsibility.
“The Public Procurement Act 2007 further states in section 20, sub-section (2) that ‘The accounting officer of every procuring entity shall have overall responsibility for the planning of, organization of tenders, evaluation of tenders and execution of all procurements.
“The National Drug policy of 2005 that was ignorantly referred to in the published letter is outdated and has been replaced by the National Drug policy of 2021, which takes into cognizance the Public Procurement Act 2007 in Section 4.2, sub-section IV page 8 and TREASURY SINGLE ACCOUNT (TSA) policy of 2016.
“The DRF scheme like all other revolving schemes in the institution is highly functional and healthier than it has been in previous years. This is reflected in the range of drugs made available to patients and marked reduction in “out-of-stock Phenomenon”. We make bold to say that the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi does not owe any drug supplier and that payments are made immediately when due process is concluded which is usually within a reasonable time limit.
t”At the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, drug supply, drug distribution within the hospital, prescription and dispensing is completely automated and on an electronic record thus making it very easy for auditing.
“The unfair description of the Head of Pharmacy department of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, who is a seasoned Pharmacist, and a former State and National executive of the respected Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria as an ‘Acolyte’ is very unfortunate.
“Our responsibility as leaders in the health sector should be to engender a robust and effective health sector that will deliver comprehensive, safe and affordable health service to Nigerians and not to engage in a libelous smear campaign.
“Despite the attempted distractions, the management of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, is committed to the provision of top class and affordable health care services to Nigerians.”
Mrs Ayo appealed to journalists to always verify information before going to the press so as not to create a negative perception for an efficient organisation.