Govt must address shortage of medical drugs

Letters

IT WAS very sad to hear from the National Parliament debate that shortage of cancer and HIV/AIDS drugs are real and needs to be addressed immediately by appropriate authorities.
Northern Governor Gary Zuffa was not wrong in raising this issue in the Parliament session a few weeks back.
I can confirm that shortage of cancer drugs and other basic drugs are real and this is true at Port Moresby General Hospital.
I had the chance to witness at least two patients going around with prescribed forms to private pharmacy outlets looking for cancer drugs to purchase.
One patient said that there was no drug at PMGH so had to buy it at private pharmacy, unfortunately, there was none at the private pharmacies too.
The same is also true for basic drugs or antibiotics like amoxylin and chloramphenicol, I have seen patients prescribed with these medicines and asked to buy them at private pharmacies by clinics like Tokarara and Gerehu hospital.
This is a very serious and lifethreatening issues and needs to be properly and immediately addressed by the relevant authorities.
It also calls for the Government to stop boasting and take pro-active role to effectively implement free healthcare policy.
The government of the day is boasting about more than 200 PNG LNG project shipments but there is nothing to show for in monetary terms.
The bulk of our people are suffering in silence, visiting clinics and hospitals daily or weekly only to find that there is no medicine to treat them.
The Health Department is also boasting about availability of drugs and medical supplies through 100% medical kits distribution, which is a failed project and should not be continued.
Stop this nonsense and go back to the normal process of procurement and distribution of medical supplies.
The 100% medical kits supply and distribution project should not be renewed because it failed to deliver effectively, on time to designated locations. There was issues of over stocking, drugs not needed and used in supplied to sub-health centres, aid posts and many other related issues of serious concern, thus this project should be discontinued.
This was a luxurious contract with little effect and benefit to our people.
I challenge the Health Department and hospital managements to seriously look into this drug shortage issue and take effective measures to resolve the problem before more lives are lost.
The Health Minister and his department should take the full blame and shoulder the problem with urgency.
The overall procurement also an issue that needs addressing.

Witness
Port Moresby

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