People living outside Pyongyang complain about unfair drug distributions
There are considerable differences in the way drugs are supplied in Pyongyang and the rest of the country, a source from North Hamgyong province told Daily NK on Wednesday.
While the government is making large-scale efforts in Pyongyang to supply medicine, no medicine is being supplied to hospitals or pharmacies in other parts of the country, the source said.
North Korean authorities have widely reported on television, newspapers and other media that the government has held discussions on stabilizing the drug supply, but in localities across the country – including the province of North Hamgyong – no drugs are distributed, he claimed.
The source said residents of the province who hear daily government propaganda mobilizing soldiers to distribute drugs in Pyongyang complain that they can “really feel the difference between Pyongyang and the provinces”. Residents of the province cannot help but express their dissatisfaction with the priority given to Pyongyang, even in matters of life and death, he added.
The source told Daily NK that a Chongjin resident complained of pain after several days of high fever, sore throat, cough and other symptoms, but was quarantined for 15 days without any medicine because no medicine could be found in hospital dispensaries or markets.
At the time, quarantine authorities simply put the person’s home on lockdown, taking no steps to treat them.
“In our country, Pyongyang comes first. So regardless, the capital is provisioned first, and the provinces get whatever is left over,” the source said. “Recently, medicines have been imported from China, but residents of the province have not had access to them.
The source further complained that the government was telling residents of the province to pick willow leaves or take hwangbaeksan (a traditional medicine) because there were no medicines left after the distributions in Pyongyang.
“It seems the government hasn’t cared from the start whether people in the provinces live or die,” he added.
The source further told Daily NK that the government propaganda claiming that the COVID-19 situation has stabilized is causing many people in the provinces to become unhappy because they are suffering without adequate access to medicine.
Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.
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