Papua New Guinea's biggest hospital faces a shortage of medicine, forcing some patients to get supplies from private pharmacies, it has been revealed.
Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) acting chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi admitted that the hospital faced medicine shortages “from time to time” but assured that life-saving drugs are always available.
He was responding to complaints by some patients who claimed that they were given prescriptions by the hospital to purchase medicine from private pharmacies.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, pictured, told The National yesterday that they had already addressed the medicine shortage issue and there should not be anymore problems.
“If there are any reports of shortages, then they may be false or somewhere along the line someone is not doing their job,” he said.
“All our medical stores are fully stocked with medicine supplies.”
Patient Arthur Haro, 56, from Gulf who has high blood pressure, was referred by the Gerehu Clinic to the Port Moresby General Hospital. Haro was given a prescription to buy medicine from a pharmacy when he was discharged.
“When I asked why they couldn’t give me the supplies, I was told that there was no medicine and that I must go and buy supplies from a pharmacy near where I live,” he said.
“If the country’s biggest hospital is giving us prescriptions to purchase medicines, then what about the hospitals in the rural areas?
“The Government must look into it immediately.”
Susan Paila from Central told The National that in the past two weeks, her father had to wait for medicine for his heart at the hospital.
“He went to the hospital last week as his heart medicine supplies will finish by this week,” she said.
“He wanted to get new supplies one week earlier. But last week, he waited till 4pm.
“On Monday, I went with him and we waited there till 4pm as well.
“I am beginning to think that the hospital has run out of supplies.”
Paila said they had to buy a month’s supply of medicine from the pharmacy as they had given up waiting at the PMGH. “But I’m working and I can afford to buy my father’s medicine,” she said.
“What about those who cannot afford to?”
Steven Aisi from Central said he was at the emergency ward from 10am to 7pm last Thursday for a doctor to see him.
“By the time the doctor came in, the emergency was packed with patients,” Aisi said.
“He just took our particulars, checked us and then filled in prescription forms for us to go purchase the medicines the next day.” The National/PNG Health News Service
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