“I was also aware of the very legitimate concerns expressed by the community and of the doubts this issue raised in the capacity of the health system to deliver timely and appropriate care,” he says.
Kase said this in response to a number of concerns raised by the community and some public hospitals in the country regarding the shortage of medical supplies and some critical medicine in the country.
He says his team is in regular contact with health services to determine the high priority supplies of concern.
Kase says he does not want the community or his colleagues in health services to form the view that nothing is happening to address the shortages.
“Over the last 2 months, a large number of orders have been placed for the urgent delivery of medicines and other supplies. A number of these supplies had been delivered and distributed however, a disturbing quantity of orders had not been delivered despite a number of efforts to encourage supply.”
Recently, the Secretary and his procurement experts met personally with representatives of a number of firms to get to the bottom of why it was not possible to meet the urgent requirements of the health system.
Kase said this was a very positive and instructive meeting for all parties and a number of issues were identified.
This included communication issues, problems, at times, with the Departments ordering strategy and concerns over payments being received in a timely fashion.
He adds that this was a very positive meeting with a promise from all parties to address the issues identified, and most importantly, an essential prioritising of the supplies which were most urgent and a commitment to provide these items as a matter of priority.
“Arrangements were being put in place to airfreight some of the most urgent items to PNG in the next 10 days.”