Controlling the prices of medicines

The Health Authority in this country needs to control the prices of medicines. Certain pharmaceutical drugs importers may have some points worth pondering on in connection with the issue of the exorbitant price increase of drugs. The government should not ignore the impact effect that higher prices of medicines could have on those patients living in poverty.
 Health care is a principal right of the people. It is vital that our country should consider the perpetuation of the physical and mental health of the people as a fundamental duty. We know that a great many medicinal drugs are beyond the people›s affordability. Our government, which is in a welfare-oriented state, is obliged to step in and control, at least to a degree, the prices of essential drugs.
 In Mauritius, health care has always been considered as almost a fundamental right of the people. This is the reason why it has been provided free by the State. We badly need to improve our health care system. The Health Authority has a duty to consider the primary health needs of the people which have been taken too lightly these days.
 If Mauritius is ranking high internationally from the point of view of the quality of life of the people, it is primarily because of sectors such as, the non-state assisted public health care system (private health care for the public) which have been generally operating without a hitch.
 However, although the non-state assisted public health care system has been in operation for decades, the current emergence of movements to protect the rights of patients indicates despite such state-initiated health measures, that certain health sectors have tremendously failed to provide assistance and medical treatment to patients.
 Apparently, the non-state assisted public health care system has not always been in a position to secure for the people, purse easy medicinal drugs and other requirements although the poorest of the poor have always been cared for by the State. It is with a view to catering more fully to the essential health needs of the people that price control of medicines is being envisioned by the state.
 Market forces cannot be expected to deliver the most essential medicinal drugs at affordable prices to the public. This is why the State has been asked on many occasions  to look into the matter in a humanitarian ground to assist those in need of treatments.
 We are aware that there are no easy ways for the State to solve this matter under the period of recession. Reaction to the intended scheme is sure to have its effects. The government would need to carefully look at all the pros and cons of this initiative, together by considering the opinions of medicinal drugs importers before forging ahead with their proposals for making health care affordable.
However, intervention by the State is necessary to protect the interests of the public and price control should not be frowned upon and misconstrued as a retrogressive move by other stake holders in the health care scene. For the majority of the people, state-assisted health care is a must and the government is obliged to accord to the public well being primary importance.
 The State must be strong enough to protect the people. Both government and opposition should work in unity regarding our health system. Raucous protests on highways are not likely to be of much avail. Our health system needs reviewing and modernized. Its obsolete medical equipments in both our hospitals and dispensaries need to be changed and modernized