Concern over free medicine

THE Fiji College of General Practitioners is calling on Government to ensure that logistics are in place to ensure Fijians earning less than $20,000 annually have access to free medicine.

A total of $26.7 million has been allocated for consumables and medicine under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ $335m allocation in the 2018/2019 National Budget.

This allocation includes the purchase of items such as drugs and consumables and the continuation of the free medicine program to assist Fijians with an annual income below $20,000 access medicine needed to maintain a healthy and productive life.

FCGP president Dr John Fatiaki said this was a good initiative, but there were issues that needed to be addressed to ensure it really happened.

“One area that we will ask Government is where they have given free medication for everyone who is earning a limit of $20,000,” he said.

“What we want though is that logistics are in place so that they are able to fulfil this promise.

“We know all too well how sometimes the best made plans are not actually what develops.

“There are complaints all the time about medicines running out, people having to come and get their prescriptions from pharmacies, so we ask that this initiative be addressed seriously so that we don’t have breakdowns in the system where people have consulted a GP, but have no place to get free medicines,” Dr Fatiaki said.

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