Failure to sign new contracts before old ones expire is one of the main reasons patients in the public healthcare system are left without medicine.The other factors are an absence of contracts for certain medicines and suppliers’ failure to meet contractual agreements‚ a team from the school of public health at the University of the Western Cape has found.Writing in the South African Medical Journal‚ team leader Bvudzai Magadzire said the shortcomings uncovered by questioning 70 health workers and managers in the Western Cape posed a critical problem."The challenges imposed by stock-outs are becoming more evident against the backdrop of increased demand for chronic disease treatment‚ but they are not new‚" said Magadzire."Minimising stock-outs requires action at a national level‚ where procurement takes place‚ to ensure that tenders are awarded timeously and supplier performance is monitored."Magadzire and her team looked at the availability of five popular medicines between 2012 an...

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