This study was an analysis of the effect of strategic planning on procurement of medicals in Uganda’s regional referral hospitals (RRH’s). Medicals were defined as essential medicines, medical devices and medical equipment. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been carrying out strategic planning for the last 15 years via the Health Sector Strategic Plans. Their assumption was that strategic planning would translate to strategic procurement and consequently, availability of medicals in the RRH’s. However, despite the existence of these plans, there have been many complaints about expired drugs and shortages in RRH’s. For this purpose, a third variable was important because it served the role of mediation. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on perceptions of 206 respondents who were selected using simple random sampling. 8 key informant interviews were held, 2 in each RRH. 4 Focus Group Discussions were held, 1 for each RRH, and between 5 and 8 staff took part as discussants for approximately three hours. The findings suggested that strategic planning was affected by funding to approximately 34% while the relationship between funding and procurement was 35%. The direct relationship between strategic planning and procurement was 18%. However when the total causal effect was computed it turned out that strategic planning and the related variable of funding contributed 77% to procurement of medicals under the current hierarchical model where MOH is charged with development of strategic plans for the entire health sector. Since even with this contribution there were complaints, the study proposed a new model called CALF which according to a simulation, if adopted by MOH, strategic planning would contribute 87% to effectiveness in procurement of medicals.
Strategic planning, Procurement, Medicals, Funding of Regional Referral Hospitals