Assessment of the causes of delay in the procurement of medicines in public hospitals, a case study of Kampala
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Procurement of medicines is a principal part of efficient drug management and essential for all levels of public health care. However, inadequate supplies continue to be prevailing in most public hospitals in Uganda. Furthermore, reports show that there have been various delays in providing these items to public health facilities. It is against such proof that this study seeks to assess the causes of delays in the procurement of medicines in public hospitals in Kampala district. The study's goals were to examine the leading causes of delays in the procurement of medicines in public hospitals in Kampala, assess their effects, and identify possible solutions to eliminate these delays. The study applied a mixed-methods approach. First, 160 respondents participated in the quantitative phase, while five participants contributed to the qualitative phase. Study findings showed that insufficient budgetary allocation to health commodities and organizational bureaucracies among the key stakeholders were the leading causes of delays in procuring essential medicines. Findings also showed that loss of morale by users of drugs, improper planning at health facilities, and overcrowding at health facilities resulted from medicine procurement delays. Results also showed that accountability, efficiency, and quality assurance mechanisms; were vital in reducing medicines procurement delays. Responses showed that three strategies were critical in eliminating delays in the procurement of drugs: forming stakeholder-wide committees to oversee and evaluate procurement, regular audits throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain, and developing standardized procedures for tracking and reporting medicines delays.