October 23, 2012
Measures must be put in place to stop pilferage, wastage of medical supplies

There is a need for systems to deal with the pilferage and wastage of medical supplies at local health facilities, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Luis deShong told SEARCHLIGHT on Sunday.{{more}}

deShong said that while pilferage is not widespread it exists, and efforts are being made to stop it.

“There is wastage and we have to contain that. We have to put systems in place to contain the wastage and the pilferage, where persons might remove items, medical supplies and drugs without permission.

“When those issues are brought to our attention, we deal with them,” deShong said.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that recently, an employee was found “with a full bag of drugs and medical supplies … taken without permission”.

deShong said the employee was “charged and interdicted”.

He said a decision had already been made to dismiss the employee, when the person submitted a letter of resignation.

“I am not saying it is widespread, but we are aware, but we cannot act unless we have the evidence,” deShong said.

“We have to send the right signals. That is one of the issues we have. And it is not just St Vincent. It is prevalent throughout the OECS.

“We have to try to put strategies in place to stem what is happening, the wastage and the pilferage; and it is happening,” the permanent secretary said.