The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, has vehemently rejected reports that a recent shortage of antibiotics was the result of a debt owed by the Ministry.
“There was an official announcement on TV to correct this matter,” he said.
The claim came from within the Ministry when members of the public complained about not being able to buy Amoxicillin Suspension and Augmentin Suspension from the hospital’s pharmacy.
According to the Minister, he doesn’t know where such claims come from.
“She has no knowledge on this matter,” he said about the official the information was attributed to in media reports.
“At that time there was no permit, maybe she didn’t have anything to say hence she said that statement.
“There is no outstanding debt for the Ministry of Health. I mean there are always debts but not at this stage... saying that we cannot get the antibiotics for our patients, we still can.
“When the A.C.E.O issued those statements, the antibiotics were already on the wharf ready for release.”
Tuitama added that they are working on ways to avoid this happening again.
“We now have a procurement statement here, to have a warehouse for the ministry to store all the antibiotics in so that we don’t have any more problems,” he said. He added that while the price of antibiotics is often a determining factor in terms of where the supply comes from, all the antibiotics being brought to Samoa are approved by the World Health Organisation.
“We don’t just buy from wherever company that sell cheap antibiotics,” he said.
“It will be a waste of money to just buy them when it won’t work on the patients here.”