Authority facing restructure


HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Jelta Wong says the Health Department is working on restructuring the Northern Provincial Health Authority (NPHA) board.
Wong said this in response to calls for the removal of the NPHA board and chief executive officer.
Nurses Association president Jenny Apolas called on Wong and Health secretary Pascoe Kase to immediately replace the PHA board and management.
She made the call following reports of deteriorating status of the Popondetta Hospital, resulting in an increased number of deaths.
Apolas told The National that there were reports of preventable deaths as the hospital was operating with a minimal number of doctors.
Apolas said from about 18 doctors under the previous management, the hospital was now left with three.
“The doctors who had left have never been replaced and there is chaos and confusion,” Apolas said.
“The hospital does not have any senior officer, particularly for the obstetrics and gynaecology section,” she said.
“Currently, the nurses and health extension officers (HEOs) are manning the hospital.”
Sohe MP Henry Amuli had also raised similar issues in Parliament recently where he told Wong to look into the matter.
According to Amuli there had been three maternal-related deaths at the hospital.
Amuli said all three were from Kokoda area had been in process of giving birth when they lost their lives. Northern Governor Gary Juffa also called for the provincial health authority chief executive officer’s position to be withdrawn from the recruitment and selection process.
Juffa urged the Health Department and the Department of Personnel Management to withdraw the position and have it advertised externally to attract a credible candidate for the job.