Fijian Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete launched the Fiji Pharmaceutical reform project in partnership with the Australian Government yesterday.

The launch now begins a series of game-changing interventions to ensure that all #Fijians, irrespective of their area of residence or socioeconomic status, have easy access to adequate quantities of essential medicines in a timely manner.

Minister Waqainabete said the project will increase availability, access and timely distribution of medicines at health facilities across #Fiji.“This reform process is planned to continue rolling out for the next 15 to 18 months.”

“By the end of this reform process, Fiji hopes to achieve amongst other benefits to be able to maintain current financing as there will be some cost savings. Fiji could achieve savings of 30-40% (a conservative estimate) through better contract management and more efficient tendering. This would be enabled by digitizing quantification, tendering and contract management.”

The Minister expressed the Government’s gratitude to the Australian Government for the continued support towards Fiji’s health sector as part of the Vuvale agreement.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency John Feakes said the Australian government is proud to support the partnership between the Ministry Of Health and Medical Services and Beyond Essentials.

“As part of our Vuvale Agreement with Fiji, the Australian government is committed to supporting the Government of Fiji and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in its efforts to strengthen the delivery of health services to the people of Fiji,” Mr Feakes said.

“Health commodity supply chains are a critical element of a well-functioning health system, as it is through reliable access to medicines, vaccines, and medical products, we are able to ensure disease management and containment. And a robust supply chain is key to achieving that.”

Mr Feakes said research has shown that supply chains now account for nearly 25% of pharmaceutical costs and more than 40% of medical device costs.“

So we can see, quite simply, the annual spending is so vast that even minor efficiency gains could free up a significant amount of money to invest elsewhere,” he said.

“Better procurement and supply chain performance undoubtedly provides many strategic benefits. In Fiji’s case, it can: reduce costs, Improve reliable access, reduce drug stock-outs, improve patient safety, deliver affordable and better quality healthcare to Fijians.

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