By BOSORINA ROBBY
ST John Hospital at Gerehu, through its private-public partnership with the Health Department will be opening their labour ward next week.
St John chief commissioner Douglas Kelson said yesterday that with the opening, they would be assisting to relieve the number of women going to the Port Moresby General Hospital labour ward every day.
Mr Kelson said POMGH was now functioning as a referral hospital, which was putting more pressure on clinics around the city to upgrade their services.
He said because of this, Gerehu hospital treated more than 600 patients a day during the festive season when Government clinics closed for the holidays.
Situated near the Gerehu main shopping centre, this 24-hour hospital also treats more than 80 patients nightly in its emergency wards.
Mr Kelson said because of the closure of the clinics and the outpatient at the POMGH, the Gordon St John clinic also closed so that their staff could assist the Gerehu hospital throughout the holidays.
He said another reason they closed was due to funding restraints where the Health Department was slow to release funds to pay medical staff.
“The staff at Gerehu and Gordon are made of more St John staff than Government staff so they have to be paid equal because they do equal work.
“This means that through our private public partnership, the Health Department must help us pay the Government workers.
“But because they were late, we were also late in paying our workers and then we had to adjust their pay so that some got more and most got less than their usual pay,” he said.
Mr Kelson said he was aware that some of his workers were discontented but assured them that everything had been sorted out with the Health Department and all their queries and contents would be met by the department .