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Malawi govt. owes medical suppliers K1 billion

No medicineBLANTYRE—The drug shortage is worsening in Malawi government hospitals because Indigenous Medical and Surgical Suppliers (IMSS) are refusing to supply drugs to public hospitals due to unpaid bills.

Malawi government owes IMSS K1 billion in arrears and have since suspended supplying medical supplies until they are paid.

Meanwhile, government has only five percent of required essential drugs at the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST), a department which is responsible of procuring and distributing drugs to all government hospitals.

CMST admitted that supplier’s refusal to supply medical supplies until they are paid K1 billion is worsening the situation in the country.

“We are not supplying to some hospitals where there are drug shortages because they owe us a lot of money and Kamuzu Central Hospital is one of them,” says Willy Chimbalanga, chairperson of Indigenous medical and surgical suppliers.

While admitting that Kamuzu Central Hospital owes suppliers money, the hospital’s director, Dr. Noordeen Alide, said they require about K477 183 781 every three months apart from K15 million it uses quarterly to buy blood units.

The referral hospital also needs about K20 million every months to settle bills at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre where they refer some patients for specialist treatment.

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