Health

Usamate wants Fiji to have universal health coverage

The Health Ministry is working to ensure that all people receive health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them, says Health Minister Jone Usamate. Free medicine is a key part of what Government is focused on, one of the things that we want to have in this country is universal health […]

Peni Shute

January 26, 2016 9:49 am

The Health Ministry is working to ensure that all people receive health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them, says Health Minister Jone Usamate.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate, during a press conference. PHOTO: Peni Shute.
Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate, during a press conference.
PHOTO: Peni Shute.

Free medicine is a key part of what Government is focused on, one of the things that we want to have in this country is universal health coverage so that people can have access to the kinds of things that they need for health. One of the problems that people face is that they cannot afford to pay for things, so introduced this free medicine scheme. This year we’ve added on to it and it’s an ongoing process.

Mr. Usamate  admitted that there were some processes previously that were not effective.

To do something like a free medicine scheme is a massive exercise, it’s not something that you can wave a magic wand to have all the systems and processes in place. We look to continually make sure that it works successfully, that we will be able to provide the medicines and access to these medicines through the pharmacies. So that will continue to be a focus of Government, and is something that we are heavily committed to.

Mr. Usamate said that it had been made mandatory for all pharmacies to take part in the free medicine scheme to ensure access was provided to as many as possible.

One of the things that we need to do is to make sure that we can purchase the medicines that we need on time, there were processes in place last year which did not work as effectively as we needed especially the 10 additional medicines that were added on onto the list . This year we are aware of the list that we have and processes have been put in place to source those medicines. These things take time to make sure that we distribute them to all the pharmacies that are part of the scheme.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.