Etep Rural Hospital still closed, needs help


ETEP Rural Hospital – the referral health facility for Kabwum and Tewae-Siassi in Morobe is still closed.
There are no special cases for the critically ill.
It costs K500 one way by plane to Lae and K200 by boat, which villagers cannot afford.
The authorities have to act quick for the sake of the rural populations.
The sorry state of this vital institution is a result of direct negligence by Lutheran Health Services (LHS) that manages Lutheran health facilities and the shortfall in Government funding.
Within the last four years, LHS has sent around six administrators to manage the hospitals.
None of them lasted a full year, all were discharged for misdemeanours ranging from drinking on the job, womanising and misuse of hospital funds.
Earlier this year, LHS sent a so called accountant to Etep followed soon after by an administrator.
For such a small rural health facility, does it need an administrator and an accountant?
The two were recently in a Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon that overturned on a good part of the road at Markham.
Intoxication is most likely the cause for this.
They hired a 10-seater at Etep Rural Hospital’s expense in Markham.
What were they doing in Markham, which is far from Etep?
The huge budget for health announced by Prime Minister James Marape is nothing new.
This year, health got the biggest slice and so was the year before.
Someone has to tell Marape it is not how much kina he allocates, it is rather how well kina is managed.
If nothing is done to address the crisis in management, the hospital will remain in the same sorry state.
Drastic measures should be in place.
The notion “Pangu save long rot to a failed health system (Pangu knows the way to a failed health system)” is very much alive in this remote part of the world.
Lastly, Lutheran church head bishop, Rev Dr Jack Urame has to reduce his public statements on national and international issues and clean his backyard.
LHS has to shape up or be dismantled totally.
We are fed up of their lack of care and absence of foresight into further developments of this vital facility.
Let rural hospitals such as Etep fall directly under the Morobe health authority.
It can be placed under the Catholics or Evangelical Brotherhood church.
They seem to do a much better job.
The people are suffering and those responsible should do something.

Kapi Lok,