Hospitals in Malacca out of medicine

Hospitals in Malacca out of medicine

MALACCA - The state government has promised fresh supply of medicine at public hospitals following a shortage which caused misery to patients for nearly a month.

State Health, Project Rehabilitation, Suburban Development and NGO committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow assured the patients that the problem would be resolved by tomorrow.

"The shortage of medicine has placed patients in a limbo. The state is addressing the situation," he said, adding that new supplies had been dispatched.

"We expect things to normalise in a day or two."

Seet blamed the shortage on "several inevitable factors" but said the state was in constant touch with the Health Ministry.

"I can't divulge these factors. But I strongly dismiss allegations that medical personnel were hoarding the drugs and secretly supplying these to private pharmacies," he said, adding that the ministry was putting in place measures to prevent a recurrence.

Asked if the quality of the medicine would be compromised in the rush to stock up, Seet said: "Health isn't something we gamble with."

In Putrajaya, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the shortage should be dealt with immediately by the respective administrators.

He, however, was not aware of the situation in Malacca.

"It was not reported to me, but it shouldn't have happened," he said, adding that he had reminded all hospital and clinic admini­strative staff members to ensure there was enough stock.

"Although hospitals and clinics can sometimes run out of medicine at the end of the year, they should have a plan to prevent it from happening," he said.

Malacca Pensioner Associations chairman J. Ram said its 2,000 members, who relied heavily on public hospital medicine, had been left in the lurch.

"Even pharmaceutical products to treat high-blood pressure patients were unavailable for almost a month," he said.

"Many of us are elderly patients who cannot afford to get supplies from private pharmacies."

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