OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale has lashed out at what he described as ‘total government negligence’ on medical drug shortages in the country.
This followed media reports of lack of medicines and essential health care materials in clinics around the country including the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
In a statement today, Hon Wale said the continuous no care attitude and the irresponsibility by the Government is sickening.
The Opposition Leader said the recent response by the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (OPMC) that the medicine shortage is ‘cyclical and dependent on some things’ clearly shows a government that is reckless and unresponsive.
“The OPMC is treating this life-threatening issue as if it is business as usual without any care to try to address or even improve administrative, financial and procurement issues to deal with the medicine shortage in the country,” he said.
He said if these are some of the challenges causing these drug shortages then why is nothing or no one doing anything about it.
The Opposition Leader said it seems there is a lack of proper and effective monitoring system in place to monitor the usage and shortage of drugs in our clinics and hospitals.
He said there is urgent need for proper monitoring and management to ensure health services in the country are not hampered with shortage of drugs and other essential stuff.
“Even suppliers of medicines and other health supplies are complaining of not being paid for almost 12 months now. The 2023 budget for drugs will merely meet the arrears from 2022. So it’s clear this situation will get worse,” he said.
Yet, the Opposition Leader said no one is taking responsibility or care even from the Health Minister and Prime Minister.
Hon Wale said it is also becoming very clear that prioritizing and committing more funding towards the PG 2023 has resulted in a major cut to many sectors including health care services in the country.
“This is heartless. Where is the humanity and common sense behind prioritizing funding towards the Games at the expense children, women and men who are in dire need of life saving drugs at our hospitals?” he questioned.
The Opposition Leader said the Prime Minister also needs to summon his officials that continue to mislead the people in the media that life-threatening issues at the NRH are under control.
“At some point these people need to be shown the exit door. The issues affecting health and well-being of our people should never be misguided and it must be dealt with great care and responsibility,” he said.