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Medicine shortage

Mere Naleba
Sunday, April 06, 2014

HEALTH Minister Dr Neil Sharma finds it hard to believe people in Lau are not getting full medical treatment because of a shortage of medical supplies in certain health and nursing stations.

During the government tour to the Lau group, the issue of people not receiving medical treatment was raised in a number of villages.

"There are only two growth (population) areas, one is Kadavu and the other is Lomaiviti," Dr Sharma said.

"In the rest of Fiji, the population is going down, so I find it hard to believe the substantial complaint."

Dr Sharma said in most cases where nursing stations or health centres faced a medicine shortage, it was because nurses and doctors stationed there did not send in reports stating which medical item they did not have.

"What can I do? Whose fault is it?," he said

"If the doctors and nurses don't put in their supply properly, if they don't make the orders, how do you expect us to read their mind?

"There is a system whereby they can make emergency inquisition."

The issue was raised by Kabara district rep Qalo Lelea during a talanoa session at Naikeleyaga Village on Kabara and by villagers of Vanuavatu and Oneata and Vunuku Village on Moala.

"The system is well tuned in for people to respond, when you are falling short of something then you place your order," Dr Sharma said.

"You know your geographical isolation. If you don't place your order and everything finishes, then you turn around and say you haven't got the supply, who is to be blamed then?

"You tell me who is to be blamed?

"Is the doctor there and the nurses there or the pharmacies over here?"

Dr Sharma said the distribution islands was updated and the question that should be asked was why medical officers stationed in such areas did not place their orders on time.

"If you look at the distribution all the distribution is up to date.

"So, if they are falling short of a certain item, then that means that items are not on the list and if there is a shortage, why aren't they placing their orders?"

Dr Sharma said the medicine shortage was a tiny issue blown out of proportion by the media.

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