Frequently Asked Questions - General
NMS came into existence through an act of Parliament called the NMS Act of 1993 to deal with the growing demand for medicine and medical supplies. The role of NMS is stipulated in the mandate that is provided for in the NMS Act which is to procure, store and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies to public health facilities.
- NMS supplies medicine and medical supplies which are in line with the Essential Medicine List of Uganda. These include; ARV’s, Essential medicine, HIV Test kits and Laboratory supplies,
- Equipment like stethoscopes, BP machines and thermometers.
- NMS supplies medicine as per the facility’s’ Procurement plan
- Medicines that fit within the budget allocated to your facility.
- Medicines ordered for and as per the relevant level of care. For example Regional Referral Hospitals have different medicine needs from Health Center IV (HCIV’s).
Ministry of Health (MoH) introduced Basic Kits for Health Center II (HCII ) and Health Center III (HCIII) levels of care in the FY2009/10. This was in response to quantification capacity gaps at these levels of care and challenges of the In-Charges of these facilities having to travel long distances to deliver orders to District Health Offices (DHO). These kits are revised every year to ensure that they respond to specific needs of the patient. They are revised by the District Health Officers with the support of the Facility In-charges for selected HCII’s and HCIII’s to optimize the available resources and respond to the specific needs of the District. The principles for determining items to be included on the basic kits are according to:
- Levels of care according to the Essential Medicines List of Uganda
- Current MoH treatment guidelines
- Minimum MoH standards and staffing levels to be expected at the different levels of care
Orders are received through email, Express Mail Service (EMS ) by Post office or by hand delivery to the different NMS regional offices. Health facilities know their needs and submit orders as per the published delivery schedule. Regional Referral Hospitals, General Hospitals and HCIV’s submit procurement plans every financial year and their orders have to be in line their planned quantities. Health HCII’s and HCIII’s are sent medicine as per their basic kit. Always ensure that you receive an acknowledgement email from the Customer Care Attendant in your respective region.
A complaint is a statement that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
- Complaints are received by written means through the Customer Complaints Form.
- They are recorded, a file opened and serialized with a reference number
- It is then assigned to the relevant action officer depending on the nature of the complaint.
- The action officer reviews the complaint, investigates and determines the course of action within a given timeframe.
- The Customer Care Attendant advises the Customer on the agreed resolution and action closes the file and keeps it in the records.
NMS has a head office in Entebbe and this is where all your medicine orders are processed. You can contact NMS through;
Phone: +256 414320089/320507
Toll free: 080012221 (UTL) 0800200015 (MTN)
For regional offices contact;
Arua Regional Office Kampala Regional Office
Gulu Regional Office Mbale Regional Office
Hoima Regional Office Mbarara Regional Office
Kabarole Regional Office Moroto Regional Office
Soroti Regional Office
NMS delivers medicine up to the facility’s doorstep. NMS delivers medicine to all health facilities from RRH’s, General Hospitals, HCIV’s, HCIII’s and HCII’s through a system called Last mile delivery.
NMS contracts private transporters to deliver the medicines from district headquarters to individual lower health facilities. The in-charges of lower health facilities receive the cartons containing medicines accompanied by delivery notes specifying medicines in each carton. The in-charges and another member of the community or security organization then open the cartons to confirm that medicines received are exactly what is indicated on delivery notes and are in good condition then proceed to sign and stamp the delivery notes.
Yes, NMS procures, stores and delivers vaccines to the District Vaccine Stores (DVS).
There are two categories of vaccines;
1. Childhood immunizable vaccines which are meant for all Public and Private Health facilities.
2. Other related vaccines e.g Anti rabies, Anti snake, Yellow fever and Hepatitis. NMS expects orders of this type of vaccines to come together with the rest of your order and not as emergency orders.
All medicine and medical supplies that go to government health facilities are supposed to be embossed. Embossing means placing a special distinguishing mark to any product or supply distributed by NMS. All medicines and medical supplies that go to Government Health facilities have words, “Government of Uganda Not for Sale” on the labels and then a “UG” on a tablet, a capsule, vial or ampoule.
This policy was introduced;
- To ensure that patients easily distinguish medicines and medical supplies and get them free of charge from government health facilities.
- To ensure that embossed medicines and medical supplies are not diverted or stolen from government t health facilities or stores and taken to private health facilities where they would be sold.
- It is meant to make it easy for law enforcement organs like Police and courts of law to easily identify the products meant for government for the purpose of charging and convicting suspects brought before them.
NMS is not mandated to collect expiries however they should be kept at minimal level. This can be done by;
- Ordering for medicines in quantities that you can use
- Ensure that the store is well arranged. Dispense medicine according to dates of duration
- Prescribe for patients’ medicine available in your store
- If you cannot use the medicine, inform the DHO to redistribute medicine to neighboring facilities that need it
- Ensure to inform the DHO of any changes of the disease pattern in your locality and make necessary adjustments
- Importation of medicines and medical supplies
- We do not supply to private facilities
- We are not responsible for retrieving expired medicines
- We do not monitor use of medicines and storage
- We have no policy of giving out non required medicines unless a facility submits their order or when a directive has been sent by MoH for national programmes like Mass Immunisation, Child days plus in April and October and Nodding Syndrome.
- Ministry of Health (MOH)
- Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED)
- Public Procurement Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA)
- National Drug Authority (NDA)
- UGANDA POLICE
- Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF)
- All Government Health Facilities - Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH), Regional Hospitals (RHs), General Hospitals (GHs), Health Center IV (HCIVs), Health Center III (HCIII’s) and Health Centre II (HCII’S)
- Medicines Health Services Delivery And Monitoring Unit (MHSDMU)
- District Health Officers (DHOs)
- Resident District Commissioners (RDCs)
- Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs)
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