– Chairman calls for enhanced monitoringRegion 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Chairman Renis Morian has announced that the time has come for enhanced monitoring of drugs at hospitals and health posts within the region. He made this assertion in response to the reports of drugRegion 10 Chairman Renis Morianshortages affecting health institutions within Region 10.On Thursday, while addressing Councillors and Regional officials at a statutory meeting, Morian revealed that major drugs were recently reported missing in the region. He said that while there have been drug shortages over the years; the issue needs to be addressed at some point. He also acknowledged that persons have requesting diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) medication in particular. He said too that while these cases have been reported, he has not received the information.“The thing that troubled me is that I am here and I never even knew that we had that kind of drug problem in Region 10…All the complaints come at my office, and I can’t give informed information to anybody, because I wasn’t told or notified that we had a drug shortage. So I’m like the chief sitting without an answer or a clue…Whenever there’s a shortage, the Chairman needs to know…,” Morian stated.The Regional Chairman however informed that there was a supply of medication delivered to the region last weekend, and he assured that the new Public Health Minister is addressing the countrywide issue.Councillor Gordon Callender, in addressing members of the Council, noted that while he understood that drugs were recently dispatched to the region, certain drugs were still unavailable. Expressing skepticism, Callender said he is certain that a trip to the Linden Hospital would reveal the unavailability of drugs. This, he said has serious effects on those persons who cannot afford to purchase such medication, especially those suffering from hypertension.“I am concerned…let us go to the hospital, you’ll find the amount of drugs that is missing from there or are short. But when you come out and you go to the various pharmacies that they have out here, they have all the drugs, but the Government institutions does not have it. Some persons, they don’t even have a penny to go and purchase these drugs out there. So, it is saying something to us, that by the time them people get money or by the time them drug people come, how many dead people we get…because this blood pressure thing is a very serious thing,” Callender added.He requested that an invitation be extended to the new Health Minister to meet with the RDC to address such issues.In response, the Regional Chairman said that while he cannot attest that all required medication was delivered to the region last weekend, the issue of drug shortages is currently being addressed by the Public Health Ministry.Meanwhile, Councillor Gregory Harris, who is attached to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), confirmed that there are occasional shortages and that the hospital does not always receive all of the requested medication, including insulin.Dr Harris further opined that a private entity within the region should be given the opportunity to assist in such times, since the hospital can then make purchases using emergency funds. Councillor Sandra Adams also added that there is a way in which the hospital can receive insulin for free, similarly to the way in which it is received at the Georgetown Public Hospital.