It was a bitter-sweet kind of an anniversary for the people of Solomon Islands this past month when drug shortage in its main public hospital in the capital worsened. What’s suppose to be a celebration of what the island nation has been able to achieve turned into a display of its many shortcomings, not so much brought about by a country starved of good and hard working people but more about incompetency and a no-care attutude on the part of some of its officials.
This matter of the hospital running out of basic medicine has been around for a few months, and despite assurances by Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela, his administration still seem unable to come to grips with the problem. It is surprising that heads have not rolled for the drug shortage to drag on this far, especially that of his health minister and permanent secretary.
For all we are reading and hearing are the plight of patients in the capital, Honiara, God knows what the status is of the hospitals and health clinics outside of the capital, out in the outer provinces of Solomon Islands. Away from the prying eyes of the Solomon news media and that of concerned citizens venting on social media, one hates to think how patients in these outlying hospitals are faring.
Prime Minister Houenipwela struck up a remarkable reputation for being a hands-on, doer instead of a talker type of administrator when in the midst of the civil unrest that sent his country on a downward spiral in the late 1990s, he almost singlehandedly stood his ground as Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands, defied threats by militants to plunder the national treasury or to relax stringent foreign currency rules.
I’d say his country’s health sector needs his urgent intervention now before patients start dying in the very institutions that was built to restore good health and spirits. For what one would assume should be a simple logistic matter, it’s almost criminal that medical drug supplies have not been restored and distributed by now.
Reign it in Prime Minister Hou, or send home those in your administration that do not seem to know their job. The people of Solomon Islands deserve way much better.