Thursday, October 27, 2011

Health services worsening, accounts inquiry told

Source: The National, 26th October 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
PUBLIC health services have deteriorated over the years with lack of essential medical equipment, deteriorating infrastructure and lack of funding.
This was revealed yesterday during the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the health status of the Nonga Base Hospital in East New Britain and the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae, Morobe.
Members of the parliamentary committee present were chairman Malakai Tabar, member for Kandrian-Gloucester and Deputy Speaker Francis Marus, Markham MP Koni Iguan and member for Kiriwina-Goodenough and Vice-Minister for State Enterprises Jack Cameron.
Public servants present were chief secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc, secretary for Treasury Simon Tosali, acting Health secretary Pascoe Kase, chief executive officers of hospitals and their managers, Health Department senior officers and provincial health advisers and Treasury and Personnel Management departments personnel.
It was revealed that health facilities, equipment and supplies were deteriorating and needed immediate maintenance while many needed replacements.
It was also revealed that the funding from the government were not enough to cater for the increasing number of patients.
Provincial health administrators also revealed that major hospitals faced overcrowding and many patients had to sleep on the floors because there were no beds.
It was also revealed that manpower was lacking to effectively deliver services to the people even with the limited and outdated medical equipment and facilities, and the limited specialist doctors the hospitals have.
The public accounts committee was receiving reports of the health status but, due to the sudden death of a senior health official, the inquiry was deferred to next month.
Other government departments to appear before the PAC inquiry are lands, national planning and implementation, National Housing Corporation, National Museum and Art Gallery, Office of Rural Development and individual districts.

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