Sir Puka still denies drug shortages

Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Sir Puka Temu, has again brushed aside rumours that medical drugs at aid posts and clinics are in short supply.

He said drugs are available if not at hospitals, then it should be at the Area Medical Stores at Badili in Port Moresby.

With growing concerns from aid posts and clinics around the country facing shortages in medical drugs, Health Minister Sir Puka Temu has once again, taken a defensive stance.

He told this newsroom that like TB drugs and ART drugs for HIV patients, the Health Department always replenishes such drugs, which leaves a vacuum in between.

He said management of facilities like aid posts and clinics must enquire with the Area Medical Stores or the Department of Health all the time and place orders on time.

However, research conducted by prominent TV journalist and blogger Scott Waide has revealed that medical supply claims by Health and HIV-AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu are false and misleading.

Waide’s research, conducted during the past week, demonstrated conclusively that there is a critical shortage of medicine and other medical supplies across the nation.

Sir Puka however, told this newsroom that they are looking into the research done by Waide and will respond amicably.

Meantime, former prime minister and Moresby Northwest MP Sir Mekere Morauta, in a statement, said Waide’s work proves what we all knew in our hearts – that thousands and thousands of people are dying and suffering because of the O’Neill Government’s corruption, mismanagement and waste in the health sector.

He calls on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Sir Puka to stop pretending that the health system is functioning properly and must admit that the health system was in crisis.

Sir Mekere is urging them to take urgent steps to fix the medical supply system.

Freddy Mou
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