DEAR EDITOR, media reports in the Solomon Islands over the past couple of weeks highlighted the shortages of medical drugs and medical supplies at the Honiara National Referral Hospital and in several medical clinics which meant many people seeking medical attention were asked to buy their own medical drugs and medicine.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister very quickly intervened in the crisis and assured the nation that the drugs shortage had been a ‘procurement’ problem and the shortages would soon be resolved.
The medical drugs shortages may well be getting better and thanks are undoubtedly due to the timely and generous intervention of several governments, private individuals, the Honiara Band Association, business owners and a Member of Parliament.
It is hoped the reported procurement problem highlighted by the Prime Minister can be looked into and very quickly resolved to prevent the same kind of recurrences.
One government doctor spoke out about his concerns over a shortage of essential equipment at the NRH, apart from a shortage of medical drugs, his difficulty with the hospital’s procurement system and over poor resource funding for health services.
Readers of this article might wish to draw their own comparisons about what the British PM said and the necessity, in my view, of what the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and the NRH requires from here on.
”It is clear that more money is needed to keep pace with the growing pressures on the NHS.
“But it is not just a question of more money this year or next. To meet these pressures and deliver the world-class care that we all want and expect, the NHS needs to able to plan for the future with ambition and confidence.
“Over the last seventy years increases in health funding have often been inconsistent and short-term – creating uncertainty over what the funding position will be in as little as two years’ time.
“This has led to a system of planning from one year to the next, preventing much needed investments in technology, buildings and workforce.
“We cannot continue to put a sticking plaster on the NHS budget each year.
“So we will do more than simply give the NHS a one-off injection of cash.
“So the NHS will be growing significantly faster than the economy as a whole, reflecting the fact that the NHS is this government’s number one spending priority.”