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Abstract
The Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act, B.E. 2560 (2017) came into force on 23 August 2017 to replace the Rule of the Office of the Prime Minister on Procurement, B.E. 2535 (1992). This Act aims to promote worthiness, transparency, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of government
procurement. However, in practice, the Act introduces many more processes and details and lacks clear guidelines for operational compliance. This has impacted drug procurement in numerous ways such as longer procurement time, an increase in workload for staff, and the risk of drug shortage due to delays in the procurement process. The purpose of this study was to determine the current situation, issues faced, and impact on hospital workload by using a qualitative descriptive design. The data collection approach included reviews of various orders, regulations, and consequences affected by this Act, and in-depth interviews with drug procurement staff in 7 public hospitals, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Content analysis was employed for data analysis. The results revealed that one year after the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act, B.E. 2560 (2017) came into effect, drug procurement
practices between hospitals varied depending on individual hospital policies and interpretations of the Act. In terms of hospital workload, procurement based on this Act led to an increase in overall workload such as the number of procured drugs, documentation, and operating expenses. Meanwhile, the number of hospital staff tasked with the procurement process was inadequate, and many aspects of the public procurement system and within hospitals themselves lacked readiness. Therefore, the Comptroller General’s Department and the Office of the Auditor General, as the agencies responsible for supervising operational compliance with the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act, should cooperate with public hospital management and public and private drug manufacturers and distributors to determine the optimal amount of staff required for procurement tasks. They should also support the use of information technology to develop a procurement document management system, and continuously monitor and assess the drug procurement process.