The Ministry of Health this week named a new team of consultants for the Central Medical Stores (CMS).
The Permanent Secretary in the MoH, Newman Kahiya, introduced five officials at the medical stores premises whom he said possessed great experience.
The team leader, Chief Operating Officer Tom Brown from the United Kingdom, has 9 years experience in designing and managing logistics systems and 7 years experience in providing consultancy services worldwide.
He worked in the field of health supply chain management.
Also on the team are:
Eugene van de Walt from South Africa who takes over as Operations Director.
De Walt has 11 years experience in warehousing and inventory.
Swedish international, Meryl Bengtsson, has worked in Human Resources for 24 years while the Director, Michael Heine Tilma, from Denmark, has 10 years experience in auditing, analyzing, optimizing and implementing financial processes. He had been based in Mozambique.
David Terpstra was named as the new Procurement Director.
CMS, a government facility under the Ministry of Health, has been a provider of pharmaceutical and medical products to public health facilities and other non-governmental entities in Botswana‘s healthcare system.
It, however, has experienced challenges over time regarding procurement, warehousing, and distribution of its products.
“As a consequence, the availability of vital and essential, as well as other important medical products, had been inconsistent and sometimes even unreliable.”
He said in light of the challenges, the MoH undertook a study in 2006, which detailed in its findings that CMS was failing to meet its operational expectations through achieving efficient procurement, storage and distribution of its products as needed across the country.
“In the time since the documentation of these findings, my ministry has undertaken the task of exploring many options of re-engineering CMS. Today I can announce that after a long and sometimes difficult process, we have finally settled on a management strategy that I am confident will bring about the transformation of CMS into a world class distributor of pharmaceuticals and related medical products to Botswana’s public health system.”
Even though the Kahiya gave the team a vote of confidence, the CMS staff seemed reluctant to welcome the new management team, citing past experiences with the South African UTI, which only stayed for three months but left CMS in ruins.
A staff member, Mosetsana Marakalala, asked Kahiya whether they could not find locals with equal experiences and educational backgrounds.
“Outsiders always come in here and leave the company destroyed. They are not cooperative and mess around with our work,” Marakalala said.
She also pleaded that the management be made to work closely with senior management of CMS so that they show them around.
The consultants will be with CMS for 3 years.