PAC report should not be ignored

Editorial

FLAWS in the health system highlighted in the Public Accounts Committee inquiry report should not be swept under the carpet.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members should be commended for their persistence in getting to the bottom of the shortage of medical drugs in the country.
The inquiry was about establishing the truth.
It was about understanding the reasons for the failing procurement, supply and distribution of medicines and medical kits throughout the country.
The inquiry exposed the rot in the system, something those in authority have worked overtime to conceal.
PAC chairman Sir John Pundari tabled the report in Parliament on Wednesday.
The inquiry into the supply, procurement and distribution of medical drugs and kits began in August last year.
Sir John said the responsibility ‘rests primarily on the management of the department (Health) who are custodians of our medicine supply chain and our people’s health’.
It is disappointing and frustrating to hear from Sir John that: “Our medical supply and distribution systems have been compromised because the (Health Department) allowed this to happen by either complacency, incompetence, design and or greed.”
Endless reports of deaths from curable diseases, deaths of mothers from child birth, closure of many health facilities due to shortage of medicines/medical kits and doctors/health workers threatened to walk off their jobs is definitely a matter of national importance.
This is despite the awarding of millions of kina in public contractors for the procurement, supply and distribution of medicines in the country.
The failure by the Health Department to investigate and remedy the situation resulted in the PAC passing a resolution to conduct an open inquiry into this matter in response to a widespread public criticism and outrage.
In this country, we are faced with major challenges due to the majority of the population being dispersed across remote locations.
The report pointed to poor management in the Health Department.
The inquiry gave the public hope that the Government, this time is serious about wanting to fight corruption.
Too often, such cases are dismissed or brushed under the carpet, even after lengthy and expensive investigations.
The hearing put the performance of those who work in this institution in question.
Officers who failed their task to ensure the system worked well should be reprimanded.
People should start taking responsibility.
If this Government is serious in its endeavour to weed out corruption in all its system, then this report should be the foundation to clean out the health system.
The Government should continue to feed and encourage lawful practices that will translate into delivery of goods and services to ordinary Papua New Guineans.
It is time to crack the whip and tow everyone in line with what is expected, otherwise it will all become talk, talk and talk.
We concur with Sir John that necessary changes should be made for the health of the people by improving the medicine procurement, supply and distribution system with the establishment of the National Pharmaceutical Authority.
When the Government strives to bring healing to our people, we will restore the people’s faith in their Government.
What worthier challenge can a government have than to move mountains if need be, to save one life?

One thought on “PAC report should not be ignored

  • And what about those who failed their duty of care that resulted in life being lost…will the response authority take legal action against them? Obviously someone had to take responsibility for failing that.
    Please take the people involved to court because they deserve that.

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