pharma-drugsHealth workers at Maria Rantho, KT Motubatse and other Soshanguve clinics are complaining that incorrectly filled orders from the regional pharmacy have forced clinics to share medicines among themselves.

A health worker* at Maria Rantho Clinic claims that incorrectly filled orders have become a recurring problem and have resulted in shortages at clinics.

“Regional pharmacy is the one with problem and believe me we are running short of Panado tablets now,” she told OurHealth.

A pharmacist* at one of the affected clinics claimed that the health facility was forced to borrow 150 packets of Panado from Soshanguve Block TT Clinic after the regional pharmacy only delivered 200 of the 1500 packets ordered last month.

Just last week, the civil society Stop Stock Outs reported shortages of antiretorvirals at Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

Staff* at KT Motubatse Clinic said they have experienced minimal shortages due to the persistence of the clinic’s pharmacist, who they said “engaged fearlessly” with suppliers.

Tshwane District of Health pharmacy personnel agreed that there are sometimes problems with medicines delivery to clinics, but argued that problems stemmed from clinics’ late orders. They added that clinics also sometimes fail to place emergency orders that allow the regional pharmacy to respond to medicine shortages.

*Names have been withheld to protect health workers from victimisation