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Top journalist exposes O’Neill-Temu drugs deception

Peter O'Neill and Sir Puka Temu (EMTV)
Peter O'Neill and Sir Puka Temu - their consoling words on drug supplies have been found to be false

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.

It was conducted during the past week and published during a Facebook Live session on Thursday afternoon with further information available on Mr Waide's Facebook page and blog.

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.

Comments

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Chris Baria

The O'Neill government is venturing into a very dangerous ground.

It is spreading false information and, not only that, it will do anything in its power to gag the media from reporting the truth.

Corruption has eaten into all its institutions so much so that even the justice system is rendered impotent as a deterrent to crime in the highest offices of the seat of power.

When a country has no other means to correct a rogue government the only means available are a military takeover which has no guarantee that the rule will revert to democracy after it has attain the objectives of removing an evil government.

The other means is by people power and civil disobedience. This also can be dangerous if it provides opportunities for looting and destruction of property by opportunists.

The bottom line is things are getting out of hand where we have a government that will not stop to put people's lives in danger to satisfy its twisted whims.

It is beginning to look like a revolution is needed to clean up the country.

Paul Oates

Alexander Hamilton in No. 15 of the Federalist Papers, wrote of the American Constitution in 1787: ".....the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."

Stripping that succinct language down into everyday English, Hamilton said: “Without being made to keep within the confines of ‘being reasonable’ and ‘following the law’, people will automatically follow their own whims and desires."

So how is what Hamilton said of relevance to today’s PNG (or for that matter any anywhere else)?

Simply that unless there is some form of sanction (read control), government (made up of people with power) will tend to follow their desires rather than what is reasonable and just.

Hamilton’s paper goes on to say: "If there is no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will in fact amount to nothing more than advice and recommendation."

In other words, ‘If there isn’t a big stick taken to those who aren’t doing the right thing then they’ll continue to do what they like without any concerns for anyone else.’

Hamilton says that the only remedy to stop those in power from doing what they like can only be one of two ways.

“The penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways; by the agency of the Courts and Ministers of Justice, or by military force.”

Hamilton is therefore suggesting that unless the legal system provides effective boundaries on people with power, eventually the only option is a military takeover.

If you apply that reasoning, recent events throughout the world seem to agree.

So where are the controls and constraints on the PNG government to ensure they are in fact doing what the PNG people want and need? That is, being reasonable and not just doing what they please because, simply, without any constraints, they can.

Robert Wilson

In my day back in the early 1970's, I was able to get a shot of penicillin from a village aid post for a leg ulcer that blew up whilst on a patrol in the Finisterre range two days walk from Tauta patrol post. Bet that the aid posts in most villages are now a distant memory.

Paul Oates

It should be crystal clear that the problems constantly being discussed are merely the symptoms of the disease.

The issue is why the disease is allowed to continue when the panacea is well known and available.

The disconnection between the disease and the cure is the real issue that must first be addressed.

The problem is very clear. Why is it therefore that there is a continual stream of people stating the well known and long term problems without anyone actually doing anything about fixing them?

The majority of PNG people do not have any real choices in leadership. Nor are they fully informed about the state of their country and why?

Until that clear disconnection is redressed, nothing different will happen under the current regime.

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