The National – Monday, February 14, 2011
I WOULD like to raise a concern that may be of interest to sick patients.
Towards the end of 2009, there was an article in a health supplement by one of our dailies with the headline “Telepathology to be implemented in Papua New Guinea”.
It was an idea initiated by an English expatriate Dr Ian Garbet, a consultant onco-hematologist of PMGH and a lecturer at the UPNG medical school.
As a Papua New Guinean and being a victim of a very slow and poor turn-around time for pathology results, especially from Port Moresby General Hospital, I find this idea to be intriguing and a relief not only for myself but for all those who have had their specimens sent to PMGH pathology department all these months, and in some cases, years, without any results.
Patients have the right to a second and even third opinion if they can get their results almost immediately.
The good thing about this programme is that the samples or specimens can be sent to PMGH pathology department or overseas and the diagnosis can be made by an expert either at PMGH or by an overseas pathologist and the result(s) and image(s) sent via electronic mail to the referring doctor.
This will not only cut down time but costs as well compared to the inefficient system being used presently.
To my dismay, sources told me that Garbet has left and there is no follow-up to the programme.
In my opinion, if something good can improve the health of Papua New Guineans, it should not be abandoned for whatever excuses.
Can the authority enlighten me on this matter?
Patient waiting forever