By COMFORT MAENI
THE Government is urged to declare a ‘State of Emergency’ at the National Referral Hospital(NRH) in Honiara.
Solomon Islands Medical Association (SIMA) made the call yesterday, as the shortage of medicines and consumables at the NRH reached crisis point.
“The Ministry of Health and Medical Service should declare NRH as in a state of emergency due to the ongoing critical shortages of medicine and consumables,” SIMA president Dr Claude Posala, said.
“Declaring an emergency state is a prerequisite to enable emergency orders and freighting in of much needed items,” he added, in a letter he wrote to the ministry’s permanent secretary and minister.
“The current emergency orders for drugs and consumables put in place by the ministry since last month is not working and is not going to solve this issue, in the coming months.
“An emergency order needs to be made with a bulk emergency order to be flown in by next week.
“This bulk emergency order can be possible, if a state of emergency is declared pre-emptively to prevent a situation in which we have preventable hospital mortality, as the reason for declaring a state of emergency.”
Dr Posala said for the ministry to repeatedly reassuring the public that there is no problem in our medicine and consumable supply and stock is “pure misconception and misinformation” to the public.
“The clinicians (at the NRH) demand that a state of emergency be declared in regards to the critical shortages of medicines and consumables, to allow for an emergency bulk order to be flown in.
“Clinicians further demanded that the government must ensure that this issue is sorted out the soonest, within a week before we need to explain preventable hospital mortality to the public.”
Dr Posala said because of the current situation, the Operating theater at NRH has scaled down on its activities by only allowing genuine emergency cases to be operated on.
Emergency cases, he explained, are ones that are“life or limb saving”.
“All elective procedures have been suspended for an indefinite period as from last week,” he said.
Attempts to speak to Permanent Secretary Dr TennethDalipanda yesterday about the situation were futile.