KATHMANDU, May 10: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has taken steps to check irregularities while purchasing health equipment and technologies for government-run health institutions.
Millions of rupees have been embezzled in the absence of rules to fix the prices of equipment and technologies in line with the price determined by the manufacturing companies, according to the MoH.
“Now, we have developed the directives to set a ceiling on the maximum price of the equipment to be purchased. The cabinet meeting held on Monday approved the directives on health equipment and technologies 2017,” informed MoH officials.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa said that the purchase of health equipment and technologies would be cheaper than earlier along with the implementation of the directives.
“It will help buy quality equipment on cheaper prices and stop misuse of funds by checking the purchase of low-priced equipment at higher prices,” said Minister Thapa. “In the past, there was no rule of fixing the price limitation of equipment.”
The directives will also facilitate in the purchase of health equipment and technologies in a shorter period of time, according to Thapa. The quality of health equipment and technologies will be tested by the Department of Measurement and Quality Control, National Drugs Laboratory and Public Health Laboratory to ensure the quality of the purchased machines and technologies.
“The quality will be assessed as per the standards of the World Health Organization. The directives have provisioned to determine the national standards by meeting the criteria of not being harmful to the health of humans and animals,” he said. “The equipment which do not meet the national standards will not be allowed to be imported or produced in the country.”
“The import of used and old equipment and technologies from other countries will also be restricted,” said Minister Thapa. “At present, old and used equipment are brought in the country,” he said. “The producers or importers should be registered with recommendation from the Department of Drug Administration (DDA), which has been given the authority to monitor them.”
The health equipment and technologies include instruments, machines, medicines and goods of operation theatre. The companies enlisted in the DDA will be allowed to buy, produce and bring these equipment and technologies. At present, there is no law to take permission to bring these things from other countries.
“Legal action will be taken against any company violating rules,” said Minister Thapa.