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OTC Medical Supplies

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1637

NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON OR AFTER 10 JANUARY 2023

 

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Saktiandi Supaat

MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC

 

Question No. 4000

 

To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry periodically monitors the sufficiency of supply of over-the-counter medicines in Singapore; (b) if so, what is the periodic interval; (c) what is the amount of emergency stockpile of such medicines to respond quickly to acute nationwide shortages; and (d) whether the Ministry will consider introducing controls against the purchase of such medicines in large quantities for the purpose of sending them out of Singapore.

 

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1618

NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON OR AFTER 10 JANUARY 2023

 

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms He Ting Ru

MP for Sengkang GRC

 

Question No. 4066

 

To ask the Minister for Health whether an update can be given on the current state of our national stockpile of essential supplies of common over-the-counter medications.

 

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1619

NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON OR AFTER 10 JANUARY 2023

 

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim

MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC

 

Question No. 2585

 

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current status of the stockpile for medical supplies such as oxygenators and pulse oximeters; and (b) whether Singapore has sufficient buffer to meet any increase in demand in the event of an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Answer

Mr Speaker Sir, may I have your permission to answer questions 7 and 8 on today‚Äôs Order Paper together? My response will also cover the matters raised by Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim scheduled for a subsequent sitting.

 

Sir, retailers keep close track of their supplies of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and medical supplies, and bring in more stock or alternative brands when there is a surge in demand.

 

The Ministry of Health (MOH) also monitors the stock levels of commonly used medicines and medical supplies, especially when there are exceptional surges in demand, or disruptions to supply. If necessary, MOH will work with the retailers to procure additional stocks to meet the demand, or issue relevant advisories. In addition, MOH maintains stockpiles of key medicines and medical supplies to be prioritised for higher acuity patients in our public healthcare institutions.

 

In extreme situations, where there may be global shortages, MOH will take additional measures such as imposing sales limits to prevent hoarding and ensure the medicines and medical supplies are fairly distributed.

 

Over the past year, our medical supplies, including oximeters and oxygenators, have been adequate to meet demand. Towards the year end of 2022, due to a higher incidence of viral infections, there were temporary localised shortages of specific brands of medicines used to treat fever, coughs and colds. Retailers therefore persuaded customers to switch to alternate brands which were not short in supply. In the past couple of weeks, demand has moderated and stock levels have improved.

         

 

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