MARSHALLS ACTS TO ENSURE HOSPITALS HAVE DRUGS

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (January 28, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The drug crises at Majuro and Ebeye hospitals are expected to be resolved this week, following placement of about $300,000 worth of orders a week ago Friday.

The move still doesn’t address the government’s $700,000 debt to off-island drug vendors and ongoing medical needs at the two hospitals, but it will get the Marshalls through the current crisis, according to hospital and Social Security officials.

"The hospitals’ (drug) orders were all sent out because of the quarterly (health fund) revenues collected" in the past several weeks by Social Security.

Hospital administrator Sandy Alfred said that to resolve the crisis, he redirected funds from the hospital’s operating budget to work with Social Security by paying for about half of the orders for Majuro Hospital’s needed drug and supply orders.

Most of the big order is from a Maryland-based company.

The aim, said Alfred, is to get the drugs delivered to Honolulu in time to make the weekly U.S. Postal Service charter to Majuro. If it works, "by Monday we’ll have some relief," he said.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: journal@ntamar.com  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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