India to introduce e-procurement for healthcare sector
India’s Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) have announced that they will be launching a country-wide e-procurement system in order to improve the efficiency and transparency in the supply chain for the health sector.
Currently, the Health Ministry is procuring drugs, vaccines, contraceptives and medical equipment departmentally and through procurement agents for its various disease control programmes. The CMSS will adopt a Management Information System (MIS) for an efficient system of supply chain to prevent leakages, stock-outs and excess inventory, and plan to reduce wastage based on the assessment of the existing mechanism and the loopholes.
The CMSS is a newly-established agency by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Health & Family Welfare, and the Government of India to act as a professional, independent and autonomous agency to procure quality goods and services in a fair and transparent manner for health sector between 2012 and 2013. The CMSS will also ensure the availability of the goods at convenient locations for the benefit of the users and better address the supply chain issues.
The agency already completed an assessment of the current system such as absence of an IT-enabled supply chain management, inadequate supply chain infrastructure, manual collection of data, and the lack of an accountable MIS for efficient inventory management, and the delays in estimation of quantities and in settlement of tenders. These problems led to delayed supplies which are the main problems in the health sector nowadays.