Funds spent yet shortage continues: Juffa

PNG seems to be expending more funds than ever but yet, medical drugs, consumables and equipment that are supposed to reach our people seem to be in shortage, thus greatly affecting our people’s health and even leading to death.

Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Governor of Northern Province, Gary Juffa, said concerns raised by doctors, nurses and rural medical workers on the shortage of medicines and basic consumables has been heard.

This public outcry has prompted the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts to conduct an inquiry into the controversies surrounding the awarding of contract to a pharmaceutical firm.

“The Public Accounts Committee is very emboldened by the fact that our Prime Minister has indicated total support for an organisation such as ours to be very active, to get out there and conduct these inquiries on behalf of our people,” he stated. “And health and education are two of the most important aspects of development that we feel need scrutiny.

“We have received so many complaints nationwide. In the last week or so I’ve seen complaints coming from doctors who have threatened to walk off because they feel that they just can’t handle the workload, they don’t have the medicines or the equipment that they require.”

Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd was given two weeks to produce its list of information required by the committee, as per the notice to produce. The deadline will lapse this week.

“We will inquire into how this organisation came to secure such a huge contract, and under what circumstances. Inquiries are based on collection, review, analysis of facts or information before we come to a conclusion. At the end of the day, we are mandated to protect the interests of our people,” Juffa stated.

Other Government departments and private companies issued with notice to produce are:

  • Department of Health
  • National Procurement Commission (National Supply and Tenders Board)
  • Department of Education
  • Bank South Pacific (K2 million for First Home Ownership Scheme)
Carmella Gware