PNG HEALTH Minister Dr Lino Tom says medicines will be sourced directly from pharmaceutical factories starting next year.
“There will be no more third parties involved in the sourcing of medicines and drugs,” he added.
The Wabag MP and medical surgeon-turned politician assured the nation that this measure was taken to save costs and to ensure the quality of basic medicines.
Tom said since 2020, health had seen an increase in its budget by about 30 per cent.
“Even then, it is not the ideal level we envisaged but in terms of appropriation per sector, we have gotten the biggest slice,” he added.
The second term Wabag MP admitted that a shortfall of more than K120 million for medical supplies from outstanding arrears over the last few years still needed to be settled.
“To address the issue, we will have to source the cheapest options in our region without compromising quality,” he said.
“The Health Department will go into a State-to-State agreement to deal directly with pharmaceutical factories and get the lowest price possible, at least for basic drugs and medical supplies.”
The Peoples Party parliamentary leader confirmed that this approach was supported by the World Health Organisation and other development agencies that work with the department.
“Our Small-Medium Enterprises and businesses can supply the nonessential medical consumables as our people must not suffer at the expense of profiteering enterprises.
“Health services must be affordable to everyone regardless. We will continue to find innovative ways to solve legacy issues within the department in the new year,” he added.
The National / PNG health Watch
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