21 October, 2016, 12:00 am
FIJIANS in the country should not expect an overnight solution to the shortage of medicine says the Minister for Health, Rosy Akbar.
While Ms Akbar acknowledged there were cases of shortage of medicine at health centres, she asked members of the public to be patient.
“I’m sure you are frustrated with the shortage of medicine like me. We are trying to work on that,” Ms Akbar said.
“There are no overnight solutions, but identifying the issues and challenges and trying to find solutions is the best way forward. For us, to work forward and finding those solutions, your support, contributions and commitment to the ministry is important.”
Meanwhile, National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad said it was good news that the minister had acknowledged there was shortage of medicine.
“I want to say that at least the Minister for Health is admitting that there are serious problems facing the availability of medicines at hospitals in the country.
“We look forward to her sorting some of those problems,” Prof Prasad said.
“But let me also say that the free medicine scheme right from the day it was launched is a disaster. Its implementation and management by the Ministry of Health was not working and it’s still not working.”
Prof Prasad also called on the minister to review the free medicine scheme claiming that many people who hold free medicine cards were not getting the medicine because of its unavailability.
“While the minister acknowledges the problem, I would call upon her to review the whole free medicine scheme implementation strategy, it can be a good scheme, but it can only become a good scheme if the whole strategy is reviewed immediately,” he said.