Assessment of the essential drugs and pharmaceutical situation in Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste, currently facing major drug supply problems, started out addressing the issue with a sound initial master plan, funds for procuring drugs, a very good Central Warehouse and had also hired an institution to manage the drug supply system.
Despite these efforts, the assessment found that the supply system may still face major stock-outs in the coming months and precipitate a crisis in the health service. Current stock-outs have prevented hospitals functioning normally - for example, lack of intravenous fluids at the National Hospital have forced the postponement of routine operations. The ultimate goal is for an Autonomous Medical Store to service government health care institutions. The mid-term review encouraged consulting appropriate pharmaceutical expertise. Recommendations from the most recent assessment, which may help the Government to decide on the future course of action, include:
• Holding more frequent meetings between the Ministry of Health and the CMS, to ensure better coordination.
• Purchasing a software programme for managing drug supply in the CMS.
• Defining the list of essential medicines by level of health care.
• Providing drug supply management training, both at the CMS and at health care institutions, in Bhasa.