MHMS Permanent Secretary explains medical supplies, drugs distribution delays in parliament
THE National Government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has given reasons for the delay in distributing medical drugs to rural health centres and hospitals in the provinces.
MHMS Minister, Culwick Togamana, outlined two of the main reasons in parliament yesterday in his contribution to the Sine Die Motion.
He said the government has continued to ensure there are adequate supplies of medical drugs at the National Medical Store (NMS).
Dr Togamana said the NMS has always ensured that orders are made on time when stocks get low.
For the distribution of medical supplies and drugs to the rural health centres and hospitals, the minister said the ministry depends so much on shipping services.
He said delays in shipment of medical supplies and drugs to the provinces were caused by unreliable shipping.
“It’s a major issue we are facing most times,” Dr Togamana said.
The second issue concerns outstanding arrears the ministry has with the shipping providers.
“We also have major issues with outstanding arrears. When we have arrears, they do not want to pick up the stocks to ship them over to the provinces.”
One other issue being highlighted by the MHMS minister to have worsened the medical supplies and drug shipment delay issue is the shortage of medical supplies and drugs due to a leakage at the supply chain at the NMS.
And because of that, Dr Togamana said there is recommendation for the installation of CCTV at the medical supplies and drugs storage facility.
“There’s a recommendation to include CCTV at the National Medical Store.”
Solomon Star understands there have been numerous claims in the past of illegal sales of medical drugs which ended up in private hands.
Meanwhile, the MHMS minister thanked the Ministry of Finance and Treasury for ensuring funds are available to clear off medical containers when they arrive at the Honiara port.
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to increase funds to make swift payment with the shipping agents to clear the medical consignments.”
By MOFFAT MAMU