The National Doctors Association said the government needs to tell the truth about the drug shortage in the country.
Speaking at a news conference today (07/06/17) the president of NDA, Dr James Naipao said there is a critical shortage of drugs in the country that the government needs to address immediately.
This follows reports from health facilities in the country of low supplies of drugs and other medical supplies.
The doctors say they have been in touch with members throughout the country who are voicing the same concerns about the lack of medical drugs and supplies.
These concerns were raised by the doctors over a month ago.
In a statement yesterday, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase basically said, the Health Department’s procurement process in not to be blamed for this situation, but didn’t say what the reasons were.
However, according to the doctors, there are three main reasons why the country is facing medical supply shortages now.
The first reason they say is the expired contract between the government and the pharmaceutical contractor that supplied medicines to the government.
Today (07/06/17), the Health Minister, Michael Malabag was not able to comment on this issue, especially about the critical shortage of drug and medical supplies at Mt Hagen General Hospital. He directed these queries to the Health Secretary.
The doctors say, as an association they are demanding that the government fix this problem. Their demands include:
- Expediting the tendering process for a new pharmaceutical contractor within a month;
- All Hospitals and Provincial health Authorities must receive their due funding within two weeks;
- NDoH and government to allow for interim hospital fees charges within two weeks and
- Free Health care policy must be reviewed by new government
If these demands are not met, there will be industrial action.
The government is yet to make a statement.