The Autonomous Region of Bougainville is also facing a shortage of drugs. but the Health Department will ensure there is sufficient medical drugs available to continue delivery the of health services in Bougainville.
Health Secretary, Clement Totavun told EMTV News, they are also concerned about the current medical drug shortage and are working around the clock to address this issue.
“At least there is enough drugs available in our health facilities but we will ensure we manage them because they might run out,” he said.
The shortage of medical drugs now questions the National Government’s free primary health care policy, which seems to not be working to address most of the health components and indicators.
One of them is the immunisation program in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
“The free health care policy is not working! And our people are not receiving the services they are supposed to receive,
“The ABG for instance, have procured the money that we have. We have procured, gas cylinders for our health facilities. The immunisation for instance has come to a complete stop because no gas. The cold chain system is not working properly,” he said.
Although the public service powers were transferred from the National Government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, some of the health functions still remain with the National Health Department. One function is the procurement of medical drugs.
“The cost involved in the procurement of medical drugs is huge and ABG does not have the money,”
“We are working closely with the National Health Department in terms of working through our joint technical working group, how we can draw down all those powers involving the procurement of drugs and also hospital functions” Totavun said.
Meanwhile Health Minister of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Dennis Lokonai said they are working around the clock to ensure all these functions are transferred once they are ready
Speaking on the medical drug shortage issue, he said that the Autonomous Bougainville Government are now seeking ways within our means to ensure there is sufficient.