PNG Chief Secretary Blames Civil Servants, Not Lack Of Funds, For Drug Shortages

Management problems leads to delays in procurement of medicine: Lupari

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 14, 2017) – Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari says funding was not the reason for the shortage of pharmaceutical drugs,  but the failure of public servants to procure and supply.

Lupari said the shortage of medicines was a result of delays in the procurement of medical drugs coupled with management deficiencies in the Health Department.

“Money is not an issue, public servants have failed,” he said.

“Shortage of drugs is not a new issue, year after year, there have been legacy issues in the health system. We’ve known it but have not been able to correct it, and now it has surfaced and has put our people into this situation.

“We have to fix the legacy issues and that’s whole of government approach in action by all departments responsible, all government institutions.”

The Government selected five companies to supply medicines to public hospitals around the country to address the current problem.

Lupari confirmed that a Government team headed by Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan and consisting of officials from the departments of Prime Minister, Health, Treasury and Finance met the five selected firms yesterday.

The meeting was to discuss the system the Government wanted so that there would be no more delays to the supplies of medicines.

A media statement is expected to be released today on the outcome of the meeting.

Lupari said because of deficiencies in the delivery of medical supplies, millions of kina was wasted.

He said the Government and their leaders should not be blamed for the shortage issue that occurred every year.

“If anyone is to be blamed it’s us, the public servants,” Lupari said.

“We are letting our people down.”

Lupari said every year adequate funding for medical supplies was allocated.

This year, a total of K160 million [US$49 million] was appropriated, K51 million [US$16 million] released and another K20 million [US$6 million] is earmarked for release this month.

The National
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