The procurement process of health care merchandise has not gone without mishaps, incidences have occurred that show numerous misadventures at the expense of human life. It is for this reason that this paper will examine health care procurement with particular emphasis on Zambia. Governments all around the world engage in the procurement of health care resources both from local and international markets and this is no exception to African governments. A lot of controversy has arisen as to African governments spending patterns around the health sector. Corruption in health procurement sector has been seen as a major challenge and concern for almost all African states, and a close observation into the same will show that the issues surrounding procurement in the health sector is a plague that needs to be eradicate in order to foster overall health and promotion of health rights.
Government spending is without doubt one which has gained widespread criticism in Africa and questions have arisen as to the process’ that the governments use to procure public goods and services. There have been concerns on the lack of transparency, secrecy around the tendering process, bid rigging, corruption, flawed contract allocation and above all the procurement of sub-standard medicines and health care resources.
It is for this reason that the health care sector in Zambia continuously faces challenges that are attributed to lack of medicines owing to budget deficits and substandard medication and facilities. In light of the foregoing, like many African countries, Zambia has in place legislative reforms that are aimed at governing the procurement process which also extends to health sector procurement. Zambia has the Public Procurement Act of 2020 which has been through the knife a number of times to bring it into conformity with international best practices in public procurement.
Despite the progressive legal reforms by the country, the health sector demonstrates significant challenges compared to other sectors, this is primarily owed to the human aspect attached to it. Owing to the sensitivity and fragility of the health sector, the challenges are more acute, as such procurement decisions made in the sector have to be closely monitored and effectively regulated. The advent of the Covid 19 Pandemic has seen the need for more consolidated efforts to harmonise procurements laws globally, primarily those around health sector procurement.
Mini Dissertation (LLM ( International Trade and Investment Law in Africa))--University of Pretoria, 2021.