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Health Minister clears the air on drug shortage: blames orders from clinics

By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Parliament resumed for 2019 and the Member for Ijivitari, Richard Masere , in his question without notice to the Health Minister sought clarification if there was still a medicine shortage in the country as he himself had been unable to be treated in his district, when down with malaria.

Health Minister Sir Puka Temu armed with a spread-sheet with numbers to go along with his response, said that he had ensured there is a surplus of medication, even specifying specific drugs.

In 2018, the medicine shortage was brought to the public’s attention by the EMTV News Lae team; it uncovered clinics in Lae and rural clinics in Morobe facing chronic shortages of medication.

The Health Minister today, Tuesday, January 22, still pointing the finger to the ordering process of medication by clinics.

As 2019 begins the question now, is whether the Health Minister’s numbers will be reflected in clinics and through their supply of drugs to patients – in cities, towns, but more importantly in the most rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

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