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Public Health: Rs 1.8 Billion Meds Stored in Atrocious Conditions



Public Health: Rs 1.8 Billion Meds Stored in Atrocious Conditions

A shocking report from the Audit Office has shed light on major problems within the healthcare system in Mauritius.

The report highlights atrocious conditions of pharmaceutical product storage, lack of medication ordering planning, and malfunctioning MRI services in three national hospitals, as well as ongoing shortcomings in specialized services at the New ENT Hospital.

One of the most alarming findings was regarding the Central Supplies Division (CSD), which was found to store pharmaceutical products and medications in inappropriate locations such as Castel, Pailles, Plaine-Lauzun, Pointe-aux-Sables, and La-Rosa.

The report revealed that these products have a market value of Rs 1.8 billion, with storage facilities not meeting sanitary regulations.

In one instance, rats were found at the Plaine-Lauzun CSD facility, posing serious risks to public health.

Additionally, expired medications worth Rs 213 million were identified in containers, some being stored for over a decade, highlighting the need for immediate disposal.

The Audit report criticized the lack of data on expired products in hospitals and health centers for the year 2019, calling for the urgent construction of a national pharmaceutical and medication depot in Côte-d’Or.

It also highlighted inefficiencies in investment projects and the need for the operationalization of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) approved in the 2022/23 budget.

Regarding the New ENT Hospital, the report pointed out deficiencies in specialized services, particularly in the Speech & Audiology Departments, impacting patient care despite services being transferred to other health centers.

The hospital’s renovation project, originally estimated at Rs 889 million and partially funded by the Indian government, faced delays and challenges, with the facility being converted into a Covid-19 center in 2020.

The Audit also criticized the lack of planning and emergency response in hospital renovation projects, citing examples of delays in completing projects such as the New Flacq Teaching Hospital and additional works required at Mediclinics in Coromandel and Stanley.

These delays have negatively impacted residents in these regions, with the Stanley Mediclinic construction still ongoing four years after the contract was awarded.

Overall, the Audit report highlighted systemic deficiencies in the healthcare system, calling for urgent reforms and improvements to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare services to the population.

Source: Le Mauricien

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