Drug shortages to be addressed

National

By EHEYUPE ERINUC
HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Elias Kapavore is keen to address the shortage of drugs in health facilities.
He told a workshop organised by the Health Department and its partners in Port Moresby yesterday past performances needed to be reviewed to work out the best solution.
“We need to go back and implement the standard right across so we may not go wrong,” he said.
“The number of medicines required by all levels of health services on a daily basis, weekly, monthly and yearly must be identified and quantified properly so the cost could be planned.
“There is no problem with the money, but the issue is how it is tomanaged and to make it happen.
“Previously governments budgeted only K50 million to the health sector but today it has gone up to K250 million plus the additional K20 million for free healthcare and support from development partners.”
Kapavore said the amount was too much “yet we face problems”.
“So the K20 million additional given for free healthcare must be reviewed to see if it achieved its purpose,” he said.
“The real issue is not the money but the procurement problem, logistic problem and commitment of those who are involved in delivering the services.”
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said past years had been “very challenging but the government has been very committed in funding the health sector”.
“There is a lack of strategy and that is why it is so important that we develop a framework and capture what we need to do to strengthen the procurement system in the country,” he said.
“We need to move beyond being reactive and replace this with strategic implementation arrangement.” Kapavore said solutions to the shortage of medical supplies in medical facilities around the country would “require all of us to work together to build a sustainable system, ensuring access to quality and affordable medicines for the citizens”.
“The development partners stand ready to support this reform and it needs to be included in our vision so that we can work together and not against each other.”

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