Shortage forces Bougainvilleans to buy medicines overseas

8:16 pm on 7 August 2017

A former MP in Bougainville has been forced to buy prescription drugs in the Philippines because of an ongoing shortage in Papua New Guinea.

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville Photo: RNZI

In June, it was reported PNG was in the grrip of a nationwide drug shortage and that some hospitals had run out of medical supplies completely.

Last month, Theresa Jaintong was a patient at Arawa Hospital in central Bougainville.

She said patients were told to try and fill presecriptions outside of the hospital because its dispensary's cupboards were bare.

Ms Jaintong said some of the drugs could not be found in Bougainville, so she asked friends in Manila to help.

She said this solution was not available to most patients in Bougainville and that they were often forced to go without the correct medication.

The Bougainville government has complained for several years at what it says is the failure of the PNG government to pay the province what it is constitutionally bound to provide.

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