Free Medicine Programme takes fresh strides in Fiji

Staff Reporter (Indian Newslink)
Suva, Fiji, August 12, 2018
More than 31,000 Fijians are currently benefitting from the Government’s Free Medicine Programme, Health and Medical Services Minister Rosy Akbar has said.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference of the Fiji Pharmaceutical Society at Pacific Harbour last night she said that the Programme was introduced as a part of the Government’s initiative to ensure equity of accessibility and availability of key medicines.
“This Programme is being implemented in partnership with the Private Retail Pharmacy to Fijian earning gross salary of less than $20,000 a year,” she said.
Admitting that there were a few ‘teething issues,’ she said that they will be resolved during the current financial year as mentioned in the 2018-2019 Budget.
New supply structure
Ms Akbar said that the Government has reviewed the process and that supply of these medicines would be easier for the retail and public sectors.
“The new restructure allows the Retail Pharmacies to procure their own medicine in the Free Medicine Programme lists that the government will reimburse accordingly. This will ease availability of the medicines and enable beneficiaries to access the medicines mentioned in the 142 lists at a retail pharmacy near them,” she said.
She said that the Ministry will continue to carry out the ‘Free Medicine Registration Drive’ throughout the country to register more beneficiaries.
Breaking barriers
Referring to ‘Reproductive Health – Let’s Talk about Sex,’ which was the theme of the Conference, Ms Akbar said it was important to break down the barriers and talk about reproductive health.
“The Government recognises the need to ensure that all Fijians achieve safe sexual relationships, free from violence and oppression; and allowing them to control their fertility with the freedom to decide if, when and how often to reproduce and without adverse or grievous consequences,” she said.
From a Report by the Department of Information, Government of Fiji
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Photo Caption:
Health and Medical Services Minister Rosy Akbar with members of the Fiji Pharmaceutical Society on August 11, 2018.
(Picture Supplied)

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