Evaluation of the Management of Donated Medical Equipment Supply Processes at the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.
Akram Abed Al-Salam Al Kahlout
أكرم عبد السلام الكحلوت
Like many developing countries, Palestine greatly depends on donor aids to satisfy medical equipment needs for its healthcare system. Supply processes of donated medical equipment are managed as per different regulatory policies and guidelines. This creates some practical challenges, as the ministry of health and donors’ processes to precure and supply equipment are different. Keeping these issues at the center of attention, the current study aims to evaluate the management of donated medical equipment supply processes at the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip to propose recommendations that could enhance the management of equipment donation processes. A descriptive, cross-sectional mixed-method study design was used. For the quantitative data; questionnaires were completed by census enrolled 60 ministry of health staff involved in the medical equipment donation. The qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews enrolled seven from ministry of health and five donor’s key informants, A pilot study was carried out with about 10% of the study population, official approval to conduct the study was obtained from School of Public Health at Al-Quds University and the Helsinki Committee. The quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS software and the qualitative data were analyzed using open coding thematic technique. The study revealed that there are policies that regulate the donation processes as stated by 80% of the participants, while 39.6% of them think that these policies are communicated to the donors. The study showed that less than two-thirds of the participants confirmed the regular planning process of their needs by ministry of health. Furthermore, participants' satisfaction with their involvement in the donor’s planning was 59.4%. The participants' perception of the planning process affected by their profession as difference between doctors and other professions means scores was statistically significant (p=0.002). The result showed that ministry of health effective inventory and custody system is available as indicated by 98.3% of the participants. Moreover, 96.7% of the participants confirmed that there are committees for technical specifications setting. The study revealed that 86.7% of the participants said that there is a clear ministry of health purchase and awarding process. The findings showed that delivery of equipment to the ministry of health warehouse is centralized as stated by 88.43% of the participants. Positive participants' perception towards the information sharing by donors was reflected by 72.2%. The participants' satisfaction with the donation processes management was affected by their working place as the difference between hospitals and other places means scores was statistically significant (p=0.048). Findings from the in-depth interviews were consistent with quantitative data. It provided clear explanations and feasible suggestions to bridge the gaps in processes management. Diverse themes were identified to deliver valuable overview like communication gaps, limited participation of staff and shortage of information on donations. Various stakeholder’s perceptions were shared as one key informant stated Despite difficulties we face in processing our donations, but we can see that there are improvements over the past years, and we hope to overcome existing gaps in the future. The study concluded that despite the stakeholder’s good performance in processing equipment donation, some gaps in the management of these processes were identified, such as ineffective communication among the ministry of health structures, and between the ministry of health and donors, poor participation of the ministry of health during donor’s planning and identification ministry of health needs. Lastly, lack of sufficient information from the donors on the donation. The study recommends readjusting and re-introducing the ministry of health policies to the donors through active communications. The donors to strongly follow the donation policies and ensure ministry of health participation in the planning process. Lastly, donors to ensure information sharing with ministry of health on the donations.