Ministers and Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of Health, as well as officials from the OECS Commission and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) attended the meeting. The delegates reviewed:
1. Purchasing arrangements for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for the procurement period July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, and July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
2. The expansion of the PPS product portfolio to include the pooled procurement of Laboratory supplies and equipment.
3. Financial obligations for the procurement of Laboratory supplies and equipment for Member States.
The OECS has supported Member States with timely procurement of test kits and personal protective equipment (PPEs) via the cost-saving pooled procurement mechanism. Donations from Direct Relief were also facilitated valued at approximately USD 430 thousand. These donations included three Intensive Care Unit kits for Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Lucia, and PPEs that were distributed to all Member States.
During the 2019/2020 financial year, the PPS purchased approximately XCD 45.79 million worth of medical products which resulted in a cost-saving to Member States of approximately XCD 9.16 million, and in 2020/ 2021 medical products valued at XCD 41.03 million was purchased with a cost saving of approximately XCD 8.21 million to Member States. The annual report also revealed that the availability of medicines in OECS Member States was satisfactory and citizens had reliable access to essential medicines to sustain their health care.