Drug shortage - Solomon Star News

Drug shortage

22 May 2018

Dear Editor – Thank you for allowing me to make a comment on the above heading that was on the headline news lately.

It was announced on the news that there is a shortage of medical supplies stored at the pharmacy department store at Ranadi, Prince Philip Highway.

As citizen, I see this as a nationwide manmade disaster that would affect every clinic and hospital throughout the country.

The most at risk are the sick patients – those who depend on drugs and other medications.

A decision made by someone due to budget or too much of this and that or whatever the obstacles that could cause a shortage in the National Pharmacy Department.

Now the simple question is who is to be blamed and who is making the cut or reducing the pharmacy orders, and all the other health items that need to have a full stock in place at the warehouse?

 Is it the Director and his pharmacist, or is it the Minister of Health and his PS, or is it the Head Admin and the advisers at the Ministry of Health?

These three groups are answerable if disaster strikes.

However looking at their responsibilities, the director and the pharmacist surely know so well all the data in every single clinic and main hospital in the country.

In fact they have been distributing drugs and medical supplies to every province since the NRH was set up.

No doubt. This is their field, they’re the experts.

They will always ensure that medical supplies will reach those clinics and hospitals by whatever means of transportation.

Also they will ensure that stock will last before the next batch of order is placed. Definitely these pharmacists will always place an order for a full stock to save the lives of this nation.

Now the next two persons are the Minister of Health and his Permanent Secretary.

In fact we can say they’re the voice in the parliament for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

They’re also responsible for seeking funds from donors for the health services that the nation needs.

Likely, I would say,  both men would have a little knowledge about pharmacy and the operation in distributing drugs and ordering medical supplies plus data and all its mobilization and so and so.

Unfortunately this is not their field. In my opinion, as the ministry is one of the pillars in this nation.

I suggest the Minister of Health and the PS should deal directly with the Director Pharmacy to have a full stock budget when it comes to make orders, of drugs and all the other medical medications.

The Minister of the crown has the power and the authority to even approve a budget for the National Pharmacy to save lives of our beloved country.

As a former patient at the NRH, for the pass two decades I’ve been living on drugs and antibiotics.

Back then it’s rare to hear doctors and nurses saying, your medication is out of stock in the pharmacy.

What I’ve heard was a lot of complaints from both doctors and nurses and other welfare matter that would be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for consideration by the heads of departments.

 Here we see, it is clearly from a point of view that all matters concerning health services must be dealt with, by the head office.

So in my observation the Heads of Admin or even so-called advisors could make decision to this shortage of medications for the pharmacy.

The reason behind this could be luck of cash flow or estimation could be too much. Or other reasons.

The situation could be scary if there is absolutely shortage of drugs and vaccine in the store.

What the general public is concerned about is the money and budget allocated to pursue these orders.

There is a saying –“what goes around comes around”.

 This is a clear message to the MHMS Head office.

Let’s be reminded and avoid what happened two year ago when a larger sum of monies went missing in the hands of senior staff.

In conclusion, let’s have passion for those who are sick.

Let’s care for one another. Give them what they deserve so they can also enjoy life as we do!

Andrew Fioga