Kase announces changes in drug procurement

Secretary for National Department of Health, Pascoe Kase, has announced changes in the management of drug procurement and supply in our public health facilities.

Kase said they have had challenges with the shortage of some medical supply and drugs.

“The shortages are not system wide but have been keenly felt by some facilities while others have adequate supplies,” he said.

“We are aware that the existence of shortages falls short of community standards and we are working hard to address the problem.”

He said directions have been issued for a series of coordinated actions to meet the most urgent needs and to propose system reforms to address the underlying causes of drug supply shortages at multiple levels of the system.

Kase said he has direct communication with hospitals to identify areas of critical need as well as the commencement of special measures to purchase critical drugs and medical supplies.

“Where possible, these are being purchased from PNG based suppliers and delivered to the public hospitals where they are most needed and at the same time, action is being taken to immediately purchase needed drugs from overseas suppliers.”

However, he said it is not enough to manage the immediate needs.

“To prevent any future repetition of blockages in the provision of medical supplies in our public health system, I have issued several directions with immediate effect.”

The reporting arrangements for drug procurement section of the NDoH have been changed effective immediately and the function will be now be overseen by Deputy Secretary National Health Policy and Corporate Services from Monday March 27.

An Options Paper is currently being drafted to provide the NDoH with a series of available options for legislative or administrative arrangements for procurement of medical supplies of acceptable quality and value for money.  All must deliver appropriate professionalism and appropriate safeguards within PNG laws.

Measures to provide daily communication about real time stock status from health facilities will be provided to me on a daily basis.

“I recognise the need for immediate and decisive action; speaking directly to the men, women and children of Papua New Guinea who are seeking or will seek medical care in any one of the many public health facilities provided for your care across our country.”

He added that the department aspires to the provide the highest possible standard of care of he has identified and addressed some shortcomings in the system and has made immediate arrangements for a package of coordinated action to ensure a system which meets the peoples standards.

Annette Kora