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NHF secures alternative source of IV fluids

Published:Wednesday | June 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE NATIONAL Health Fund (NHF) is reporting that a shipment of intravenous (IV) fluids will arrive in the country later this week to ease the shortage affecting Jamaica.

In a news release yesterday, the NHF said it had identified an alternative source of IV fluids in a bid to address the current shortage.

It said reserve supplies are currently being distributed to all hospitals.

"Over the last three months, the NHF has been receiving reduced but steady supplies from our usual overseas sources, and as such, we have had to utilise our emergency stock to continue supply to the public health facilities."

At the same time, the NHF, which now has responsibility for the management of pharmaceuticals in the public health sector, is urging conservation strategies to alleviate the crisis, similar to those introduced in the United States and other countries affected by the worldwide shortage. The NHF is advising all hospitals to manage supplies as efficiently as possible.


Yesterday, The Gleaner reported that a severe shortage of IV fluids was affecting the local health sector.

A reliable source told The Gleaner that there were jitters at the Spanish Town Hospital last week as the life-saving fluid had dried up at the health facility.

Yesterday, the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) reported that none of the hospitals in the region, including Spanish Town, had exhausted their supply of IV fluids.

"Under no circumstances did the Spanish Town Hospital run out of IV fluids last week as systems were put in place to ensure that the IV fluids are available as needed in light of the shortage," said Dr Andrei Cooke, acting board chairman.

However, The Gleaner's source, who is a medical practitioner at the institution, expressed alarm at SERHA's response, noting that the IV fluids had, in fact, run out.