LAHORE: The Primary and Secondary Health Department has decided to deliver hepatitis drugs to registered patients at their doorstep through courier service. In this connection, Primary and Secondary Health Minister Khawaja Imran Nazir Wednesday formally launched the programme of the medicine delivery by handing a drug parcel through TCS service to a female patient in Shahdara on Wednesday. Talking to the media, the minister said hepatitis drugs would be couriered to 83,000 registered patients every month. He said that expenses for sending couriers to patients would be borne by the Health Department. Giving details, the minister said data of patients and record of medicines’ delivery would be maintained by a computerised system, while a third-party validation would also be carried out to ensure transparency. He said that the promise of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to provide treatment facilities to patients at their doorstep had been fulfilled. He added that soon the medicines for tuberculosis, AIDS and other diseases would be delivered to patients through courier service. Separately, Punjab Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique has said that the process of procurement, supply and distribution of medicines and other health commodities in public sector hospitals is being made standardised. “We are bringing a robust and transparent supply chain management system, which will not only help eliminate the loss incurred due to expiry of medicines but will also ensure qualitative and quantitative needs of end users,” said the minister while addressing a symposium here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Wednesday. The symposium on ‘Significance of Public Health Supply Chain Management’ was organised by UHS in collaboration with USAID Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) programme. It was part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two organisations, which was signed at the end of the symposium. Under the agreement, the UHS and the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Programme will collaborate to initiate diploma, short courses and masters leading to PhD programmes in supply chain management. In the first phase, three-credit hour module of supply chain management has been incorporated in the masters in public health programme. The minister said that it was the top priority of the government to provide free-of-cost medicines worth billions of rupees to patients at public sector hospitals, and added that it was the prime responsibility of authorities concerned to make the process of purchase, supply and distribution of medicines transparent. The minister acknowledged the USAID and UHS support to the Punjab government in institutionalising the supply chain management system. He said that the collaboration between the two organisations and initiation of new courses would benefit officials at all levels of public sector hierarchy. “This skilled force will help the government machinery forecast, quantify, process and store quality health commodities and distribute them among the poor and marginalised community at the grass root level,” he said. Ministry of National Health Services Secretary Muhammad Ayub Sheikh congratulated the Punjab government and UHS on introducing the much-needed initiative. Published in Daily Times, July 13th , 2017.