JIS News

Health Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has informed that the Ministry’s children’s portfolio, including the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Office of the Children’s Registry, is to be transferred to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
The Minister made the disclosure as he delivered the opening presentation of the Social Policy section of the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate, in the House of Representatives, on September 21.
The move, he said, is part of the Ministry’s restructuring programme, which is in keeping with Government’s reformation plans for the public sector.
He further informed the House that under the restructuring programme, the Health Corporation Limited (HCL) will be closed down and its core functions of procurement, warehousing and distribution integrated into the National Health Fund (NHF).
“Drug Serv, which is the pharmacy retail arm of HCL, will come under the management of NHF. This will necessitate minor amendments to the NHF Act, which we will shortly place before the Parliament,” Mr. Spencer said.
The integration of the HCL and its core functions into the NHF is expected to yield results in better management of the pharmaceutical services and a much improved inventory management system, the Minister said.
Expounding on the importance of pharmacy service the health sector, Mr. Spencer pointed out that the drug budget has increased by 167 per cent over the last five years, moving from $898 million in 2004/05 to $2.4 billion this year.
“In April of this year, we signed contracts for over 700 pharmaceutical items. We were also able to negotiate more favourable payment terms from most of our suppliers,” he said.
The Minister further informed that as part of restructuring efforts, the Ministry was also exploring the possibility of integrating the functions of at least two other entities into existing programmes in the Ministry.
“Those entities that are self-financing will be taken off the budget, and shared corporate services will be utilised to reduce the cost of the bureaucracy and improve efficiency,” he noted.

Skip to content