By ADRIAN MWANZA
THE Drug shortage in hospitals is real as people are being asked to buy essential medicines because government has not procured, says Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) president Brian Sampa.
Dr Sampa said Health Minister Sylvia Masebo needed to stop politicking and ensure that she stoped blaming the previous government over the shortage of drugs in the country.
He said it was disappointing that Ms Masebo claimed that the issue was propaganda by suppliers whose firms had their contracts terminated by the new government.
Dr Sampa said that the government needed to advertise rather than apportion the blame on their predecessors who at least tried to provide the service.
“Our call to the minister is for her to own up and ensure that she gets the medicines not apportioning the blame on the suppliers whose contracts had been terminated as the ones pushing this propaganda,” he said.
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He said that the first step would be to admit their mistake but to quickly work towards fixing the problem as soon as possible rather than start blame games.
Dr Sampa wondered why the ministry was delaying in procuring the medicines when the government had released some funds meant to buy drugs but nothing had come forward so far.
“Can you imagine that the government last year released and did the same this year but nothing has come forward and hospitals still do not have drugs,” he said.
He said that he hoped that the problem would be rectified once and for all to avoid the loss of lives countrywide since hospitals were not fully stocked with essential drugs.
Dr Sampa called on Ms Masebo to show leadership and stop blaming the Patriotic Front regime because they had been in power for over seven months.