Health Ministry launches project to address shortage of medicines

Health Ministry launches project to address shortage of medicines

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 23/10/2020
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete with Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes. [image: Fijian Govt.]

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services through the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services has launched their Supply Chain Reform Project in partnership with the Australian Government to address the shortage of medicines.

The project aims to improve the efficiency of supply chain management and procurement systems to increase availability, access and timely distribution of medicine and consumables to health facilities across Fiji.

Launching the project, Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says annually, the Government of Fiji spends around $50 million on medicines and consumables and despite an overall annual budget, chronic shortages and out of stock of medicines are reported.

Dr Waqainabete says through this reform project, the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services will be able to make 30 to 40 percent savings through better contract management, more efficient tendering and improved logistics management.

He says the issue is not that we are not buying medicine for the country but it is the manner in which it is bought, distributed and monitored.

Doctor Waqainabete adds this is what they will improve to ensure that all Fijians have access to medicine through their hospitals and health centres.

The Minister says that Fiji is grateful to the Australian Government for partnering with them in bringing the much-needed efficiencies to Fiji's pharmaceuticals supply chain.

Dr Waqainabete adds the project will be managed by Beyond Essential Systems of Australia, which has extensive experience in supply chain reform and management in the Pacific.

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says their Government is pleased to support the Ministry in this project.

Feakes says the aim is to use smart technology to help ensure Fijians get access to the right medicine at the right time.



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