Glenmark hosted a power breakfast focussed on raising the bar in public health procurement moderated by Dr Suresh Saravdekar, Director, The Rural Health & Education Centre. Dr Prateek Rathi, Special Executive Officer, ESI Scheme, Department of Public Health, Maharashtra; Varsha Rathi, Professor, Radiology, Grant Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals; AG Prasad, Divisional Head, Institutional Sales & Marketing at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; Bejon Kumar Mishra, Founder/ Director, Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation; Dr Tumge Loyi, Medical Officer, Directorate of Health Services, Government of Arunachal Pradesh; Dr M Lego, Director of Health Services, Department of Health, Government of Arunachal Pradesh; Dr OP Upadhyay, Medical Superintendent, Sir Sunderlal Hospital; R Rang Peter, Joint Secretary, Government of Manipur; Dr Pravin Shingare, Director, Directorate of Medical Education & Research, Government of Maharashtra; Dr BK Mohapatra, Additional Chief Medical Superintendent, Odisha State Medical Corporation; Dr JK Dev Varma, Director of Health Services, Government of Tripura; Dr Gajendra Kumar, Principal Executive Director/ Health, Indian Railways; Dr DK Sharma, Medical Superintendent, Department of Health, AIIMS Delhi; etc., were some of the delegates who attended the session.
During the power discussion, national healthcare experts reinforced facts and shattered myths associated with procurement practices. Deliberations were made on challenges faced by procurement agencies to filter out manufacturers and ensuring direct deals which will help in maintaining a balance between quality and price. Suggestions were made to streamline the process and bring in transparency. The delegates discussed about various irregularities and lack of awareness that hinders the tendering and contracting processes in the procurement of medical supplies and about further mentioned the measures that need to be taken up.
State representatives from Maharashtra and Kerala shared techniques and strategies that helped them streamline processes. These suggestions were welcomed by northeastern states to improve their systems. The experts further listed down parameters that will comprise eligibility criteria for tender bidding. Unfortunately, there is only minimal time spent on regulating this first step which results in hampering the processes. In addition, there is a need to encourage the companies to compete in an environment which is quality driven.
Recommendation to audit companies on their financial standing as a measure to avoid discrepancies in the long run were also discussed. They further recommended stringent actions against any breach of regulations. They also discussed on the urgent need to reform the procurement and distribution models existing in the public health sector. These measures will go a long way in reducing healthcare costs, opined experts presetn for the discussion. They further discussed several solutions that can be implemented at different levels to eliminate the existing gaps.
They unanimously agreed that only through concerted efforts can the system be strengthened and made more effective.