By REBECCA KUKU
THE Cabinet will give health secretary Pascoe Kase, pictured, time to respond to issues raised in a petition submitted by the National Doctor’s Association (NDA) yesterday.
“The Prime Minister (James Marape) and I will meet with Kase to discuss some of the points,” Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Elias Kapavore said.
“We will give him time to respond, and we will also have in place an independent team to investigate some of the concerns raised in the petition.”
The details of the issues were not revealed to the media.
The petition is related to the controversial awarding of two contracts worth K100 million to Borneo Pacific Pharmaceutical Limited (BPPL) for the procurement and supply of medical kits and antibiotics for Papua New Guinea this year.
Following the announcement of the contract awards by Kase on Aug 14, the NDA questioned the Government’s rationale of awarding contracts to the private sector for the supply of medical kits and medicine.
“Why can’t the Government set up its own department to procure medical kits and medicine directly, either, from the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended agents, like the International Dispensary Association (IDA) or equivalent, or directly from manufacturers in Asia, Australia, the US or Europe?
“Generic medicines procured this way will be cheaper and effective,” NDA secretary and chief of emergency medicine Dr Sam Yockopua had lamented.
The NDA also demanded that Kase be replaced and the contracts be suspended.
Kapavore told The National that he was present with the prime minister at the presentation of the nine point-point petition by NDA.
“I wish to thank NDA for their presentation that now place us in the picture with analyses from their view on health, both at governance and clinical settings.
“Delivering health services remains and will continue to be a challenge for the Government.
“Many interventions for improvement, supported by our development partners are acknowledged.”
By REBECCA KUKU