A man, who only wants to be identified as “Valea” has blamed the National Health Services (N.H.S) board for the recent shortage of Amoxicillin Suspension and Augmentin Suspension from the hospital’s pharmacy.
Referring to the situation as putting people’s lives at risk, Valea said the composition of the Board renders them vulnerable when it comes to pharmaceutical matters.
“If you look at the N.H.S Board, there is no one person with specialized knowledge about pharmaceutical matters sitting on it,” he said.
“I find this surprising given the importance of getting the right information about the medication that’s being brought into Samoa.”
Valea is a government official who contacted the Sunday Samoan to raise his concerns because he wants to avoid a repeat of the shortage.
“The next time something like this happens it might have deadly consequences,” he said.
“I truly believe the Chairman of the Pharmacy Council should be sitting on that board. There should also be a member of the Dental Association on it.
“If you look at it, both representatives are absent which doesn’t make sense. It's worrying in fact.”
The Chairman of the Pharmacy Council is Lemalu Mathew Mualia.
Contacted for a comment by the Sunday Samoan, he declined.
But Valea said the shortage was the result of the failure of the Board.
“It’s a very serious matter,” he said. “It has everything to do with the failure of procurement process which does not reflect well on the Board.
“I blame the Board because the procurement process should be their priority.”
Last week, the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, rejected reports that the shortage was the result of a debt owed by the Ministry.
“There was an official announcement on TV to correct this matter,” he said.
But Valea is not convinced.
He claims that the shortage was the result of the N.H.S’s budget being blown and that the Health official who spoke about the debt was telling the truth.
Valea added that from what he knows, Samoa’s alleged debt to the suppliers of medication could be as high as $500,000.