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By GYNNIE KERO
MEDICAL supplies are being sent to the major provincial hospitals as health authorities work overtime to fix the shortage of medicines quickly.
The targeted hospitals are in Mount Hagen in Western Highlands, Kundiawa in Chimbu, Alotau in Milne Bay, Modilon in Madang and Angau in Lae.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said “urgent” shipments had been organised for the hospitals. This will continue over the next week until all hospitals have sufficient stocks.
He said the Health Department was assisted by major medical supply companies, and business partners like the airlines.
“Chief Secretary (Isaac Lupari) had provided considerable assistance through his understanding of the issues involved,” he said.
“The central agencies had worked to free up access to resources which allowed for faster payments to contractors.
“Health Department staff were working long hours to ensure supplies were ordered and deliveries coordinated.”
He said “urgent supplies” were sent to Mount Hagen by air on Friday.
“The hospital has been advised, with unpacking and distribution in Mount Hagen currently underway,” he said.
Supplies to the Kundiawa Hospital, which has been supporting Mt Hagen, have been sent by air.
The same arrangement was done for Alotau Hospital, Wewak, Rabaul and Madang.
“Urgent supplies for Lae Stores were already on board the ship heading for Lae. This will provide stock to support the Angau Memorial Hospital and allow transhipment as necessary to hospitals such as Modilon and Kundiawa as required.”
The Government last week short-listed five pharmaceutical suppliers to supply medicine to the health department.
A team of officials will assess their performance over the next six months.
The shortage of medicine was highlighted by doctors who are members of the National Doctors Association serving in hospitals around the country.
They had complained about the shortage of medicine hindering their treatment of sick people.

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