14 Jun 2005

PNG Health Minister denies claims of basic supply shortages in hospitals

7:29 pm on 14 June 2005

Papua New Guinea's Health Minister is continuing to downplay reports that the country's hospitals are going without basic medical supplies.

Melchior Pep has denied claims in the Post Courier newspaper that six hospitals in the Highlands face critical shortages of drugs and equipment.

Despite recent claims by the Chief executive of Goroka Hospital that it lacks basic equipment, Mr Pep says the overall situation is not bad and there are no serious shortages.

He says each region has central medical stores from which hospitals can procure the supplies they need.

Mr Pep says normally when a region runs out of a particular supply, it can be sourced from elsewhere in the country.

"I just don't understand these guys, they come to the media. We told them, you have to check the big area medical stores first before they come to the media or even talk to us on that. Whatever's not in that particular region, we can always shift it around, that's the arrangement that we have in place."

Melchior Pep.