Health boss dumbfounded by reports of medicine shortages


THE Health Department will investigate clinics and health centres that are giving prescriptions to patients to buy medicines at pharmacies.
Secretary Pascoe Kase told The National that they had received reports from reliable sources that government-purchased medicines were being sold on the streets.
“What we want to know is where are all the medicine supplies that are being supplied to the clinics and hospitals by the medical stores,” he said.
Patients at the Gordon Urban Clinic in Port Moresby reported this week that they were told
that the clinic did not have supplies and were given prescriptions to purchase their medicine from pharmacies.
Kase said the Gordon clinic was supplied its full complement of medicines three weeks ago and should not be facing any shortages.
“They should be okay with medicine supplies for the next two months, so I don’t know why they are giving prescriptions to patients to purchase medicines,” he said.
“Patients should be given medicines free of charge by the clinics and health centres.”
Kase said that they would look into the Gordon Urban Clinic and other clinics and hospitals in the country to find out why they were giving prescriptions, saying there was no medicine when they were receiving
supplies from their area medical stores.
He reminded the clinics and hospitals to notify their area medical store in advance when they were running short of supplies.

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