KABUL (MoPH) has paid $270,000 additional amount purchasing 100,000 “Rapid Test” sets for Coivd-19 disease, Pajhwok Afghan News learned reliably on Saturday.
On 14th of this month, a Pajhwok report said the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) spent above eight million afghanis additional amount in purchasing medicines, medical equipment and health products at exorbitant rates for the Afghan-Japan Hospital.
Differences in purchase document:
Documents available with Pajhwok show the MoPH purchased 100,000 Rapid Test sets for $5.7 million, with one Rapid Test set costing $5.7 on June 1st of this year.
The MoPH purchased the Rapid Test sets from New Hiwad Limited firm.
But another document of purchase related to Blossom hospital shows that 3000 Rapid Test sets have been purchased for $300 — each priced at $3 in April, 2020.
According to the documents, $270,000 additional amount has been spent on purchasing 100,000 “Rapid Test” sets of Coivd-19 by considering the purchases of the Blossom hospital in Kabul.
Purchase at higher price does not mean standard:
Dr. Bahar Ahmad, a senior official at the Blossom hospital, told Pajhwok that they purchased one Rapid Test set for $3, but the MoPH purchased one $50 higher than the market price.
He said the MoPH instead of accepting their fault had now declared their Rapid Test sets as substandard.
He said buying Rapid Test sets with a higher price did not mean the equipment were standard. He believed Rapid Test sets were found in ordinary laboratories as well
High price due to market trend
Sayed Agha Ahmadi, manager of New Hiwad Limited firm, told Pajhwok that high quality Rapid Test sets for Coivd-19 had been imported from top companies in China.
He linked the increased price due to closure of borders, adding at the time the kits were purchased, one Rapid Test set was sold for $10 to $12, but when lockdowns eased, the price of one Rapid Test plummeted to $2.5 to $3.
Masoma Jafari, MoPH deputy spokesman, termed the difference in price of the sets due to the time of purchase and demand. “Changes in the purchase may be due to buying date, because during the crisis, there was high demand.”
Blossom hospital compliant:
Officials of the Blossom hospital expressed their deep concern over warning from MoPH, saying the ministry was yet to allow other hospitals to check Covid-19 patients.
The MoPH recently issued a letter, saying the use of rapid test sets by the Blossom hospital was illegal and warned of closing all sections of the hospital if it continued using the kits.
Blossom hospital director termed the MoPH warning letter as against all healthcare procedures and said such biased attitude of the ministry will damage healthcare workers’ behavior and people’s belief in private hospitals.
He explained Blossom Hospital had not yet performed a PCR test and the hospital’s section of collecting blood samples was incomplete, so where did the test take place?
But he said they used Corona’s rapid test for collecting plasma. According to him, Blossom Hospital wrote to the Ministry of Public Health to allow the hospital to import coronavirus diagnostic equipment.
In response, the public health minister said, “These items should be allowed to be imported by the Medicine and Medical Equipment Department as necessary for the control and prevention of the coronavirus.”
The Blossom hospital head said if there was no need for coronavirus diagnosing equipment, then why the minister allowed them to import such equipment, causing them financial losses.
He termed MoPH behavior as biased towards private hospitals, saying they came to know about the MoPH warning letter on the ministry Facebook page.
Blossom Hospital officials finally wrote an official letter to the Ministry of Public Health, asking for permission to test coronavirus patients.
The MoPH issued a letter, saying Blossom hospital is registered with it and has been providing health services in Kabul province for the past 15 years.
The ministry terms the Blossom Hospital lab as one of the best equipped laboratories and says its PCR section is ready for corona test and asks people to visit it.”
On July 11, the MoPH tasked a delegation from the Testing Service Department, the Private Sector Management and Coordination Department and the Assessment and Evaluation Department with monitoring the hospital.
Director of Blossom Hospital said the monitoring had been conducted by MoPH but the hospital was yet to be issued license for testing coronavirus patients.
He claimed a number of hospitals not meeting standards had been issued coronavirus testing licenses, but Blossom hospital with 15 years experience was to be given license.
Masoma Jafari, MoPH deputy spokesperson, about the ministry’s warning said that Blossom hospital had been monitored and it lacked capacity to be granted license.
“The rapid test is not valid at all, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has not accepted the rapid test,” the spokesperson told Pajhwok.