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Montserrat hosts OECS/PPS Meet for the third time

OECS Health Ministers

Montserrat hosted the 25th Policy Board and 14th OECS Health Ministers Meeting at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on October 12 – 13. Minister of Health, Hon. Colin Riley became the new Chairman of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS).

The outgoing chairperson the Hon. Ann Peters Minister of Health of Grenada was unable to attend this meeting and was represented by her Permanent Secretary.

PS health Grenada, Mr. Isaac Bhagwan

The OECS/Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS/PPS) is a self-financing public sector monopsony or buyers’ cartel that covers its operating cost from a 15% surcharge. The OECS/PPS was implemented as a result of financial constraints which made it increasingly difficult for OECS countries to individually finance the supply of drugs to health facilities.

The Hon. Jermaine Wade, Parliamentary Secretary of Montserrat chaired the Opening Ceremony. The Invocation was done by Rev. Dr. Joan Delsol Meade. A patriotic song of Montserrat was rendered by Mrs. Camille Gerald.

Mr. Francis Burnett the Head of Unit, OECS/PPS

Delegates were ushered to their seats by the Royal Defence Force Cadets while the OESC song played. Delegates at this meeting included Ministers of Health and their Permanent Secretaries; Mr. Francis Burnett the Head of Unit, OECS/ Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS/PPS); Dr. Merle Lewis Representative for Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. James St Catherine from OECS Secretariat, HIV and AIDS Project Unit, Dr. Stanley Lalta Health Economics Unit of the University of the West Indies and Mr. William Conn Health Foreign Representative for the US Government.

In his brief remarks, Mrs. Francis Burnett told the audience that the OECS/Pharmaceutical Procurement Service have been providing OECS citizens with a reliable supply of good quality medicine at competitive prices. Mr Burnett said the OECS/ PPS program is unique and it is an excellent example of functional and economic cooperation. He said the OECS/PPS have been able to reduce the cost of medicines by at least 20 per cent which amounted to 4 million EC dollars per year savings. “The accomplishments by the OECS/ PPS have been tempered by slippage in payments to our creditors and perhaps it may be due to the reflection of recession and economic challenges but we believe that government may do a bit better.” he explained. “Sometimes late payments may be attributed to bureaucratic difficulties and delays” There need to be a guaranteed pool of funds, a form of automaticity to enable us to meet our financial obligation to suppliers he said.

Minister of Health Hon. Colin Riley

Minister of Health, Hon. Colin Riley and new Chairman of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) told the audience the OECS/ PPS has brought significant benefits and even though there are ways to make it more efficient he believed it is the project to be placed at the top of our agenda. The Minister said, “…. as we look to build higher quality health service, we cannot do it without the medical supplies.”

He accepted the chairmanship of the OECS/PPS but more importantly he said, “I’m encouraged to join a group of Ministers whom I have met in the last two years…,” and who he said he absolutely believes have been taking the job of looking after the health and safety of people seriously.

A vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Rona Greenaway-Bobb.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

OECS Health Ministers

Montserrat hosted the 25th Policy Board and 14th OECS Health Ministers Meeting at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on October 12 – 13. Minister of Health, Hon. Colin Riley became the new Chairman of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS).

The outgoing chairperson the Hon. Ann Peters Minister of Health of Grenada was unable to attend this meeting and was represented by her Permanent Secretary.

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PS health Grenada, Mr. Isaac Bhagwan

The OECS/Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS/PPS) is a self-financing public sector monopsony or buyers’ cartel that covers its operating cost from a 15% surcharge. The OECS/PPS was implemented as a result of financial constraints which made it increasingly difficult for OECS countries to individually finance the supply of drugs to health facilities.

The Hon. Jermaine Wade, Parliamentary Secretary of Montserrat chaired the Opening Ceremony. The Invocation was done by Rev. Dr. Joan Delsol Meade. A patriotic song of Montserrat was rendered by Mrs. Camille Gerald.

Mr. Francis Burnett the Head of Unit, OECS/PPS

Delegates were ushered to their seats by the Royal Defence Force Cadets while the OESC song played. Delegates at this meeting included Ministers of Health and their Permanent Secretaries; Mr. Francis Burnett the Head of Unit, OECS/ Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS/PPS); Dr. Merle Lewis Representative for Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. James St Catherine from OECS Secretariat, HIV and AIDS Project Unit, Dr. Stanley Lalta Health Economics Unit of the University of the West Indies and Mr. William Conn Health Foreign Representative for the US Government.

In his brief remarks, Mrs. Francis Burnett told the audience that the OECS/Pharmaceutical Procurement Service have been providing OECS citizens with a reliable supply of good quality medicine at competitive prices. Mr Burnett said the OECS/ PPS program is unique and it is an excellent example of functional and economic cooperation. He said the OECS/PPS have been able to reduce the cost of medicines by at least 20 per cent which amounted to 4 million EC dollars per year savings. “The accomplishments by the OECS/ PPS have been tempered by slippage in payments to our creditors and perhaps it may be due to the reflection of recession and economic challenges but we believe that government may do a bit better.” he explained. “Sometimes late payments may be attributed to bureaucratic difficulties and delays” There need to be a guaranteed pool of funds, a form of automaticity to enable us to meet our financial obligation to suppliers he said.

Minister of Health Hon. Colin Riley

Minister of Health, Hon. Colin Riley and new Chairman of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) told the audience the OECS/ PPS has brought significant benefits and even though there are ways to make it more efficient he believed it is the project to be placed at the top of our agenda. The Minister said, “…. as we look to build higher quality health service, we cannot do it without the medical supplies.”

He accepted the chairmanship of the OECS/PPS but more importantly he said, “I’m encouraged to join a group of Ministers whom I have met in the last two years…,” and who he said he absolutely believes have been taking the job of looking after the health and safety of people seriously.

A vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Rona Greenaway-Bobb.