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Akbar: Lack of Medicine Tackled with Enthusiasm

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, yesterday clarified in Parliament the issue of the shortage in medicine were “…not new” but they were addressing it “…with energy
26 Apr 2017 13:01
Akbar: Lack of Medicine Tackled with Enthusiasm
Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, yesterday clarified in Parliament the issue of the shortage in medicine were “…not new” but they were addressing it “…with energy and enthusiasm”.

Ms Akbar said the issues of medicine shortages and stock outs were persistent problems and a challenge for the country’s health system for many years. It too was a global problem.

“The challenges related to stock-outs cannot, and will not, be resolved overnight – but they are challenges that my Ministry and I are seeking to address with energy and enthusiasm,” she told Parliament.

“It should be understood that Fiji was small and as a remote island nation it would take months for deliveries of medicines to reach our shores.

“And I wish to make it clear that the problems we face today, in regards to drugs and consumables, these are issues that are not new. It has existed for decades.”

She said the Ministry tendered for around 500 essential medicines.

“Stock outs typically occur when there is sudden, unexpected increase in demand for a particular product. For example, an outbreak of infection in the hospital or in the wider community will often result in higher than expected utilisation of medical supplies,” Ms Akbar said.

National Federation Party Opposition MP Parmod Chand claimed that the shortage of medical supplies in Fijian hospitals was an ongoing issue that needed be looked at properly.

He said he was disappointed with the way the whole procurement of medical supplies was done by the Government of the day.

“Like any other issues affecting the nation is that Government is paying lip service to the fundamental issue of providing basic health care to Fijians,” Mr Chand said.

In her response, Ms Akbar said outside Parliament that the Opposition did not understand reality.

“It’s sad when questions are asked and as Ministers we try to explain the real scenario, it sometimes doesn’t sink in to the Opposition.

“The response we get from the other side is an indication that everything we say is taken very lightly. They don’t seem to be listening and understanding what we are trying to say,” Ms Akbar said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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