SIR MEKERE MORAUTA MP
PORT MORESBY - Research conducted by prominent television journalist and blogger Scott Waide has revealed that medical supply claims by health minister Sir Puka Temu are false and misleading.
Mr Waide’s research demonstrated conclusively that there is a critical shortage of medicine and other medical supplies across the nation.
His work proves what we all know in our hearts – that thousands and thousands of people are suffering and dying because of the O’Neill government’s corruption, mismanagement and waste in the health sector.
Mr O’Neill and the health minister should stop pretending that the health system is functioning properly. It is not.
Mr Waide surveyed Lae clinics and Angau Hospital himself, and he also called for reports to be submitted to him by health workers and patients across the country.
The results are shocking and demonstrate the government’s neglect of the health system while spending K3 billion plus on APEC, a giant party for the prime minister and his cronies.
Some examples of the information provided to Mr Waide by informants:
Lae urban clinics - no antibiotics, painkillers, malaria medicine, family planning drugs or penicillin injections. No syringes, forceps, surgical scissors, diabetes test strips, gloves, face masks and other consumables.
South Koroba clinic - no antibiotics as capsules, tablets or in suspension. No painkillers.
Lawes Road clinic, Port Moresby - antibiotic and painkiller shortages. Long delays in drug delivery from the Area Medical Store, which is only a few kilometres away at Badili.
Kwikila Station hospital - shortages of many medicines and medical supplies.
Kimbe - widespread shortages. One man reported having to go from clinic to clinic to find medicine for a relative.
Mt Hagen hospital: No tuberculosis drugs.
Oro clinic serving 2,000 people - no antibiotics and no painkillers. No other basic supplies such as gauze, gloves and adhesives.
Bougainville - no medicine in Buka. One man says he cannot find medicine for a sick relative.
Madang province clinic - no antibiotics or painkillers.
Alexishafen - no antibiotics. No painkillers. No STI drugs. No malaria-specific drugs.
Hela PHA Hospital - shortages of essential drugs such as antibiotics.
Angau Hospital - under additional pressure because of shortages and stock-outs in Lae clinics. Angau itself has critical medicine shortages.
Mr Waide described the medical supply shortages as a nationwide problem, but much more pronounced in rural areas.
“It is a bigger problem in the rural areas in terms of logistics and delivery of medicines,” he said.
“If any bureaucrat tells you we don’t have a medicine shortage problem, here it is.
“I have got the evidence to show there is a medicine shortage problem. You can go all over the country and see these medical shortages. Again, it is basic medicines that people need.
“When you don’t have basic medicines such as antibiotics at the lowest level of the health system, then everybody in the community is in trouble,” Mr Waide said
Mr O’Neill should admit the health system is in crisis and take urgent steps to fix medical supplies.
The prime minister and health minister should divert some of the money being wasted on luxury cars for themselves and their cronies and use it to save people’s lives.