Stock reports show no drugs at PNG's distribution centres

11:14 am on 6 August 2019
PNG Angau hospital

PNG Angau hospital Photo: RNZ Pacific

The drug shortages being experienced in Papua New Guinea are not the fault of the hospitals.

That's evident from stock reports that show dozens of important medical drugs are not available, that the cupboard is bare.

Last week the Health Minister Elias Kapavore said the hospitals are at fault for not ordering the drugs from the ministry's distribution centres in time.

Drug shortages in the PNG health sector have been a common feature for more than two years.

A source, who RNZ Pacific has agreed not to name, provided the stock reports from three of the five Area Medical Stores, which are the procurement and distribution points.

But the data clearly shows that at the end of July, the AMS stores didn't have the drugs the hospitals wanted.

In 2017 an audit of drug procurement and distribution in PNG pointed to systemic failures, and our source in the health sector suggests the problems are still there and may be worse.

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