The Chronic Disease Assistance Programme (CDAP) is being abused, and a special steering committee was approved by Cabinet to revamp the system, says Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan.
Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair yesterday, Khan noted that over $400 million is spent on the CDAP programme annually and some 600,000 prescriptions were recorded, which did not make sense for a population of 1.3 million.
He said the CDAP programme was evaluated and the report was submitted to Cabinet.
The programme, he said, needed to be strengthened as it was found there were major leakages and duplication of pharmaceuticals.
Khan said there needs to be accountability between pharmacies, medical personnel and patients.
A smart card for each patient, he said, was in the works.
Referring to the report, Khan said, “There was a need to monitor the CDAP pharmacies to see what and how much of the items were prescribed and how they were delivered because what we found was there was a lot of stock outs (out of stock), and when that was investigated, what we found was the majority of stock outs occurred as a result of duplication of one patient receiving the drugs more than one time per month when they were supposed to get one item per month.”
The steering committee, he said, will devise a plan to ensure a more efficient system.
Khan also disclosed that the Health Ministry, in partnership with British Gas of Trinidad and Tobago (BGTT) and Shriners Hospital, will be sending five doctors annually for two years for training at Shriners.
This country’s new Children’s Hospital, he said, will have a specialised burns unit and trauma centre, and BGTT formalised an agreement so doctors can be trained at Shriners on high-level reconstructive burns surgery.
He said BGTT has injected $200,000 for the training.