The Governments of Honduras and El Salvador are working on the implementation of a new National Health System guided by the recommendations of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). In the case of Honduras, in February 6, an intervening commission of the Executive Branch began working on the readaptation of the administrative processes for the purchase of medicines, whose new format will be implemented July 2019. For its part, El Salvador has advanced since February 11 in the Health Committee of the Legislative Assembly with the implementation of the National Health System (NHS), which gives the Ministry of Health the power to develop mechanisms for negotiation and purchase of medicines. Deputies of the National Health System are expected to continue with the elaboration of the final text, which will then have to be passed by legislators in the Assembly.
Honduras works with the National Health Commission, established by the Executive Branch in August 2018 with PAHO’s support. One of the pillars of the commission’s action is to modify the structure for the purchase of medicines by the public sector. In this regard, the administrative processes will be reviewed and the supply of medicines for cancer patients will be maintained. Currently, the supply of medicines to public hospitals is regulated by a bank trust, so the commission is working on a new catalog of medicines to complement the trust’s work. The Commission wants to create a new scheme of drug supplies that will be operating as from next July to reduce the administrative process in the purchase of drugs.
For its part, El Salvador is making progress in the Legislative Assembly with the implementation of the National Health System (SNS), supported by the Ministry of Health (MINSAL). The deputies of the Health Committee met this week to prepare a draft law for the Integrated National Health System, which is based on two initiatives that the technical team will seek to unify (File 1395/2017 and File 1695/2017). Both texts place the Ministry of Health as the lead agency that will be in charge of developing mechanisms for negotiating and purchasing medicines, medical supplies and health technologies, among other actions. It is expected that in the coming weeks, they will continue with the elaboration of the final text, which will then have to be passed by the legislators in the Legislative Assembly´s floor.