New Heritage Party Vice President Samuel Kasankha has challenged the views of Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Lackson Kasonka, that there are no shortages of medicine in public hospitals.
In a statement released to the media, Mr. Kasankha said that the greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines, and wondered why there are still a lot of instances where patients are walking away with prescriptions and not getting drugs at the hospital pharmacies if the drugs are available at public hospitals and clinics.
Mr. Kasankha said that to suggest that those who say there are shortages of medicines are “peddling lies” is an insult to many members of the public who have been subjected to endless prescriptions.
Mr. Kasankha advised the Permanent Secretary to make some impromptu visits or send some people, incognito, to hospitals so that he comes back with the correct picture on the availability of medicines, adding that the greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines.
Below is the full statement
PURPORTED AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS IN HEALTH FACILITIES
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Lackson Kasonka, is quoted in the media as categorically stating that there is no shortages of medicine in public hospitals. And as for those diagnosed with mild signs of COVID 19, he says they are not given medicine but are only advised to isolate and adhere to doctors’ instructions, adding that Zinc and Azithromycins which people are buying are a waste of time and money because they don’t treat coronavirus.
We wish to advise the permanent secretary to make some impromptu visits or send some people, incognito, to hospitals so that he comes back with the correct picture on the availability of medicines. The greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines. If medicines are available his ministry must find out why there are still a lot of instances where patients are walking away with prescriptions and not getting drugs at the hospital pharmacies. To suggest that those who say there are shortages of medicines are “peddling lies” is an insult to many members of the public who have been subjected to endless prescriptions.
With respect to people with coronavirus who are not admitted to hospitals, people ARE BEING GIVEN PRESCRIPTIONS of the very Zinc, Azithromycin, Vitamin C and Brustan which Dr Kasonka claims are a waste of time and money. The ministry needs to put its house in order and stop its professional staff from prescribing drugs (or whatever else) which they well know do not work. What is the point behind these prescriptions which a lot of us who have one time or another tested positive are given if the permanent secretary, himself a professional, now says are ineffectual?
Even those who are self-prescribing these drugs have either had prescriptions before by doctors or clinicians, or have heard from others who were once prescribed the same.
To enjoy our inalienable right to health, we must, apart from receiving the best possible treatment when the need arises, also be made privy to all information that we need to have about diseases, illnesses, large scale outbreaks or pandemics etc., so that we, as communities, take the right remedial or preventative measures against the same. The Patients Rights Charter (which must be displayed at the Receptions of all health facilities) provides that patients MUST know whatever drugs are prescribed to them, alternatives if any, and how they work including their possible side effects. The Charter allows the patient to choose if there are options between many drugs or refuse medication altogether.
The Ministry of Health is proving unreliable by its own officials contradicting each other on how to deal with those found with mild symptoms of COVID 19.
We repeat that they synchronise their operations so that no one is prescribing irrelevant drugs which come at a financial cost and whose side effects we don’t know when taken needlessly.
The ministry must engage in massive awareness creation on the COVID 19 pandemic beyond the need for vaccination instead of the permsec lambasting victims of the ineptitude among the different categories of medical stuff.
We have prescriptions from government institutions for the same Zinc and Azithromycins which we can avail to the permsec to prove it’s him and his officers who are behind the purchases of medicines that don’t work.
We end by repeating the need to display the Patients Rights Charter at all hospitals and adhering to its dictates so that we discontinue getting medication that we don’t need.
New Heritage Party