Photo for illustrative purpose. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: As many as 4,000 medicines and medical supplies are reportedly out of stock from the stores of Bahrain’s Ministry of Health, local media reported.

According to the 18th National Audit Office Annual Report 2020-2021, this shortage is equivalent to 47 per cent of the medicines and materials that the ministry’s drug manual requires to stock up due to their importance.

The report said that more than 149 drug classes are not available at Salmaniya Medical Complex alone.

It added that the Ministry of Health purchased some medicines from approved local agents through domestic tendering, although they are among the medicines included in the Gulf Joint Procurement programme. This has caused the cost of purchase to rise by 221% to 1.062% compared to their original prices in the Gulf Joint Procurement programme.

The report also revealed that the Ministry of Health does not test narcotic drugs, oncology drugs and vaccines in laboratory upon receipt to ensure their safety and compliance with the specifications contracted with suppliers.

The report said that there are cases in which drugs were found to be unsafe for human use following lab tests after being dispensed to patients in MoH hospitals and health centers.