Shaky prices blamed for lack of meds in Bukidnon hospitals

Zubiri told radio station DXDB in a recent interview that the fluctuations caused re-bidding, which further delayed the procurement of medicines and medical supplies.

"There is no problem with the budget. The problem is re-bidding because of fluctuations in prices of medicine; process of bidding among other steps," he said.

Zubiri said as a solution, the cheap medicines bill should be passed into law.

He said Capitol's scheme of separate procurements for generic and branded medicines is an attempt to address the problem.

He said this is to avoid summary failure of biddings.  

He said they buy branded medicines for life-threatening cases and generic medicines for non-life threatening ones separately.

He announced that they have started bidding for six months supply of generic medicines such as paracetamol.

Zubiri, however, warned administrators of Bukidnon's provincial hospitals not to ignore emergency cases, particularly in the wake of reports of a pre-Kaamulan festival stabbing incident.

A week before the festival highlights, Jessie Emata from San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon
was brought to the Bukidnon Provincial House here by witnesses to the stabbing of Emata in Impasug-ong town.

But radio station DXDB reported doctors did not attend to the patient, pushing hospital student interns to contribute to buy his medicines.
Zubiri stressed that hospital administrators have to find a way to attend to the emergency situation.

"They were given instructions that in emergency cases of life and death situation, with card or no card (Philhealth), with parents or none, from Bukidnon or outside; they have to attend to the needs of the patient," he said.

"Naulaw ko kaninyo. Thank you sa inyong gibuhat (I am ashamed. Thank you for what you did)," Zubiri said, addressing the interns.

Zubiri also announced that the facilities and equipment for the Bukidnon Medical Center are already "on the way".

But he did not say when the provincial government plans to make the medical facility operational. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)