thursDay, may 1, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
The Demerara Harbour Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Thursday May 1 from 05:30h-07:00h The Berbice River Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Thursday May 1 from 05:05h-06:35h
Drug shortage continues despite operationalisation of new bond By Michael Younge
Weather: Light rain showers will give way to sunny intervals during the day with clear skies to partly cloudy conditions in the evening over coastal regions and near inland locations. Temperatures are expected to range between 24 degrees to 28 degrees Celsius. Wind: North easterly between zero and 4.91 metres per second. High Tide: 04:54h and 17:19h reaching maximum heights of 2.80 metres and 2.67 metres respectively. Low Tide: 11:29h and 23:40h reaching minimum heights of 0.46 metre and 0.64 metre respectively.
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The Health Ministry’s bond at Diamond, East Bank Demerara
here continues to be a shortage of medical supplies, drugs and pharmaceuticals across the country despite Government’s attempts to ensure that there are significant improvements in the requisition and distribution systems with the commissioning of a spanking new $375 million warehouse facility and bond at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. The facility was established last May with support from several donor agencies, after Government injected some $120 million to operationalise what it calls the “New Management Materials Unit”. When questioned late last year about the confusion that was gripping the system at Diamond since the Ministry’s decision to move from the NEW GPC warehousing facility at Farm, Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said that “teething problems” were being experienced at that time. He had promised that the situation would have been improved ahead of the commencement of the New Year. But as recent as Saturday, several regional health officials were complaining that the situation has not improved significantly and severe shortages of critical, and most times basic, drugs and medical supplies are still being experienced. They have reiterated calls for better systems to be put in place to manage the central bond and unit at Diamond. These calls come on the heels of complaints
Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran
earlier in the year that there were shortages which were frustrating the elderly and poor since they could not access various forms of medications and drugs.
Region Two shortages
Speaking with Guyana Times over the weekend, Region Two Chairman Parmanand Persaud confirmed that the shortage of medical supplies was significantly affecting the quality and reliability of the service offered to Essequibians. The main pharmacy at the Suddie Public Hospital and the Charity Hospital are the most hard-hit by the shortages. Persaud said upon investigation, it was discovered that the pharmacist in charge did not make the necessary requisition. The Chairman told Guyana Times that there is a shortage of B-Complex as well as vitamins while relating that the drugs are sourced from Georgetown and are distributed based
on consumption records, pointing out that if the region does not use up its quota for a given month, less is supplied the following month. This system, he said, has some flaws, and the region is working to have them addressed. This was also confirmed by the Regional Health Officer Allison Brown who said that the Suddie Hospital Pharmacy does not have “basic” medications. Brown reported that the last supply of drugs was received in March this year while revealing that patients are being forced to buy insulin syringes for $120 until they receive a supply of stock. Additionally, patients who turn up to benefit from the services of the public health system in the regions are being left with no
choice but to source some supplies at private institutions.
Region Ten shortages
“It is a shame that some people are asked to buy medications such as Nystatin, ORS, Antibiotic Eye Drops, Daflon, Simvastatin, Haloperidol, vitamin tablets and injections, Azitromycin, Anti Hypertensive Tablets, Antipsychotics and Antiepileptic drugs which are reportedly in short supply at the hospital,” a health official from the region said. Rationing of supplies is being done in the meantime. Most of the health centres in Pomeroon and on the Essequibo Coast are reported out of supply of certain medications. turn to page 9
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