Fight affecting health service


THIS letter is a call out to all educated people and leaders of Kabwum and Wasu to address the tense situation at Etep Rural Hospital.
As the only referral health facility in that part of rural Morobe, it deserves our attention and action at such tumultuous times.
The infighting between Lutheran Health Services (LHS) office in Lae and the suspended board and CEO of Etep is affecting operations at this vital facility.
The suspended CEO has taken the matter to court.
LHS and concerned authorities have never put in place an interim board. Hence, the CEO is still residing in Etep and has access to his office.
The hospital is without an overseer or interim board.
The result is the obvious difference between nursing staff and poor performance – leading to many unnecessary deaths.
This continued over a year until the recent arrival of a young German doctor and his nursing wife, with their two children.
At last we are seeing a doctor spending more time with the patients, attending to medical operations, difficult birth cases, and other ailments, and not running around in Lae with the hospital cheque book.
This brilliant young man has done wonders for the hospital in such a short time, working on patients as well as infrastructure and equipment. If such a young Christian couple can leave behind their friends, families, careers, and sacrifice the education of their children to come and live and work among us, they truly deserve our utmost support to ensure they work in peace and comfort.
I salute the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG head bishop Rev Jack Urame for bringing back the German couple when they left earlier, seeing the uncomfortable working conditions there.
The mission in Germany has threatened to pull out the medical doctor and cease all funding to Etep Rural Hospital if the tension is not sorted and issues brought to light.
To avoid this disastrous path, I also call on the MPs for Kabwum and Tewae-Siassi to address this issue for the sake of your people, who can hardly afford to fly to Lae for medical treatment.
After all, the villagers do not understand or care about this cheque book tussle or court cases.
All we want is an attentive doctor and organised nursing services.
With the Government’s terrible free health care programme, we do not want to lose support from the mission in Germany.

Kapi Lok

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