The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) has expressed grave concerns over the medication shortage the country is facing that have reportedly led to mix up of medication as nurses and doctors work their best to substitute commonly used drugs for patient treatment.
SICCI urges the Government and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to effectively address this distressing situation of medication shortage at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara as a matter of urgency.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dennis Meone agrees that this is a national issue that requires urgent action and calls on all relevant stakeholders to work collectively with the Government and the Ministry to address it for the sake of our people.
Mr Meone said drug shortages present a challenge for health care providers, but more importantly ordinary Solomon Islanders especially those that are ill and most vulnerable.
“When shortages occur, health systems must act quickly to identify and obtain alternative products to prevent disruptions in patient care, because the health of our people both in Honiara and the Provinces must not be compromised.
“Imagine a situation where lives are lost simply because of communication breakdown.
“I think we owe it to our people to ensure we deliver the best medical services we can afford and provide.
“Let’s work together to rectify the problem,” says Mr Meone.
Prime Minister Hon Rick Hou has called for an emergency briefing with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services on Sunday who confirmed the country had experienced shortages of some essential drugs and supplies.
The shortage was due to a delay in the procurement process for our drugs for 2018.
Meanwhile, SICCI CEO, Mr Meone commended the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for commencing the 2019 drug procurement process as of last month June to ensure we do not have a similar problem in 2019.
The order is anticipated to be awarded in September 2018, and supplies are expected to be in country by April 2019.
Special orders for Anaesthetic drugs and supplies are also expected to be air-freighted into the country over the next week.
Mr Meone has also commended the Solomon Airlines for assurance that the airline will accord priority to transport emergency medical supplies as and when they are ready to be transferred to Honiara.