‘No state of emergency, it’s under control’: PM Houenipwela


Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela with the Permanent Secretary Health Dr Tenneth Dalipanda and Secretary to Prime Minister Dr Jimmy Rodgers at the press conference this afternoon.

The Government assures they have the shortage of drugs at the National Referral hospital under control.

Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela made the statement today to the media after a briefing this afternoon from the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr Tenneth Dalipanda.

Prime Minister Houenipwela explained the shortage of drugs was due to a delay on the procurement process for Solomon Islands for this year.

He said the process commenced in the middle of 2017, but took a long time to conclude with the final orders awarded to suppliers only in April this year.

“I wish to dispel any thought about lack of funds. The total budget for our drugs procurement is in place and it is being used to procure the supplies that are on their way. The delay was due to the procurement process so there is no issue about the budget. ”

The Prime Minister said the drug orders are now under control. The Ministry of Health placed a further four order with suppliers to provide other drugs until the main orders arrive.

“Orders for critical drugs, dressing and consumables mostly for the NRH were made on May 7 2018. All these drugs and supplies are in the country now, having just arrived over the past week with the last stocks to be cleared from the Ports in the next couple of days.”

He said essential drugs for the whole country were ordered on May 31st 2018 and are on  schedule for delivery to the National medical stores in August. Similar orders were made for emergency drugs and were sent to suppliers in June.

“Some of these will be delivered by air, through freight and the heavy material delivered by ship. The air delivery is anticipated within two weeks of the confirmation of order” Mr Houenipwela said.

The Ministry of Health also placed a special order for Anesthetic drugs and supplies, expected to be air-freighted into the country over the next week.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said he has spoken with the Chief Executive Officer of the Solomon Airlines that the country’s emergency drugs be given preferential freight on the airline.

“The National Medical stores will advise the airline as soon as we have the drugs ready for shipment so that they can get priority air freight.

“The Airlines CEO has assured the airline will accord priority to the country’s emergency medical supplies as and when they are ready to be transferred to Honiara. We have funds to meet our freight costs.”

“We now have all the critical drugs needed at the NRH with the final stocks to be cleared this week.  I wish to assure the general pubic that the government is addressing the matter with the utmost urgency”, he said.

“We are confident all the drugs that have been procured since April this year will be in the country within the next month.

“In this regard, the government does not believe that we have reached a State of emergency at this point.”




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