By: Keile Campbell
The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director, Dr. Aubynette Rolle
has acknowledged that there were delays into getting certain medications in the
public hospitals. And while she did admit that there were some issues with supply
chains, she asserted that it has all been rectified.
Dr. Rolle’s comments came after Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman, and
former Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands made claims that the public healthcare
system is currently undergoing a shortage of drugs and supplies.
Dr. Sands told a local new agency that, “the hospital is out of medications, clinics
are out of medications in different islands”.
However, in response, the PHA explained that there were some issues, particularly
with the matter of transporting the supplies to the hospital.
“So, we had some issues with that in terms of getting them [supplies] to the
hospital. I am happy to report that since we spoke, we were able to get some and
now patients requiring dialysis are now able to get their cathodics put in so they
can have their therapy done, but there was a delay,” Dr. Rolle said.
When Dr. Sands brought awareness to the possibility of a shortage, he
hypothesized that the reason for the shortage could possibly be a money matter, as
he said that there was not just a shortage of medication “but supplies and there are
specific items that simply not available”.
“You’ll hear various reasons as to why they are not available. Oh! this is an
international stock issue…but we want to know whether there are instances where
vendors have simply stopped providing goods and services on the basis of non-
payment?” Dr. Sands questioned.
However, Dr. Rolle assured that the issue of supply chain difficulties is not across
“Where we do have issues with supply chain, it is not in all instances. I did have an
opportunity to review, we do have some of the oncolytics – or the drugs that are
used for cancer patients that we do not have, but we were able to get some of the
alternative drugs to be utilized until we are able to access those [drugs that we
don’t have],” Dr. Rolle said.
The FNM has accused the Davis administration of being in a “cash crunch” with
Leader Michael Pintard accusing the government of failing to pay for goods and
Dr. Sands questioned whether the government is prioritizing “Or whether this is
just a big game.
“We want to know whether this is simply an issue of a funding challenge. Is the
government of The Bahamas absolutely keeping up with the stage payments to the
various agencies and industries; and from the comments that we are receiving from
persons in ministries all across the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the answer is
no,” Dr. Sands said.