CEO raises concern over drug shortage


THE national health coordinating system needs to be strengthened to remove 50 per cent of medical drug shortage issues, Morobe health authority (PHA) chief executive officer Dr Kipas Binga says.
“The classic example is the pool system used in the drug delivery where while Lae’s Angau Hospital may see a shortage in drugs such as Amoxicillin, other districts may have a big supply lying unused,” he said.
“These are some things that need to be tidied up so we get real time information on the supply of drugs in our province.”
Binga said the shortage of medical supplies and consumables was an on-going issue country-wide.
“The Health Department is responsible for procuring supplies through the area medical stores in bulk so that the medicine is cheaper,” he said. “But the logistics and funding had added burden to an already complicated system.
“A 50 per cent budget cut for drugs has seen the PHA digging into their operational budget to buy medicine, which we are not supposed to do but are forced to do.
“I am not blaming anybody or any system but this is the issue and we all have to work together.”
Binga said Angau Memorial Hospital had to source from its trust account, internal revenue collected from fees, as well as depending on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) funds.
“So it is a mixture of many things,” he said, adding that they were now working on strengthening their pharmaceutical log.
Binga said this would allow them an oversight of available drugs, where it were going and who had what so the supply can be shift around rather than waiting.