Distribution of medicine, equipment top priority says Health Secretary

The National,Tuesday June 28th, 2016

Distribution of medicine and equipment is top priority for the Health Department, says secretary Pascoe Kase.
He told a departmental heads’ meeting last Friday in Port Moresby that 75 per cent of his department’s operational funds was spent on medicine and medical equipment.
“We buy all of our medicines from overseas,” Kase said.
“So procurement costs, shipping, logistics and all that takes time.
‘Last year, we got about K160 million.
“This year’s budget, we have got about K180 million for medicine and medical equipment.”
Kase said over the last four years, the Government had been coming good and supporting health in the country.
“We’re equipping our hospitals with new equipment,” he said.
“That’s something that we should give credit to the current Government to for assisting the health sector.”
Kase said the department was now up-to-date with payment of its bills for supply of medicines and  equipment.
“To date, as I speak, another K25 million has been given by our Government and our outstanding bills for medical supplies are paid,” he said.
“The balance of some K34 million since November (last year) has been reduced to K14 million.
“That’s a good sign.
“We want to get rid of all these old bills and focus on the more current.
“So it’s not all that bad.
“The Government is doing well despite all the challenges that we face,” he said.
Kase said they will explain to the people that funding will have to be managed properly.
He said there was an urgent need to prioritise and tighten up.
“Medicine is something that cannot be compromised,” he said.
“We must continue to get medicines into the country. “Priority should be given to procuring of medicines.”