Hospital increasing fees for certain services, administrator says

Health Watch

BRAUN Hospital administrator Simon Sony says the hospital has increased its user-fees for certain services to keep the hospital open.
Sony said by end of last year, they imposed a 10 to 20 per cent increase on services such as laboratory, X-ray, theatre, doctor’s clinic and on patients from outside the Fisika region – Finschhafen, Siassi and Kabwum. “This money is supposed to be deposited into the hospital bank account but because we do not have petty cash on hand, we use this to help our daily operations,” he said.
“Baby deliveries, maternal health care and chronic patient cases, however, are not charged.
“But, from those who we charge, we sometimes get between K300 – K500 which goes towards grass-cutting or power bills to keep us going.” Sony questioned if the operational grant for this year, from the Government through the Christian health services, would still be received.
Lutheran services health manager John Demok acknowledged the Finschhafen development authority’s swift response to giving K132,000 to re-open the hospital services last month.
Demok, however, said the amount would only last three months. “We don’t know what to do by January,” he said.
“We’re calling for money because since January, there has been no operational grants and if nothing come from the National Government this year, we will have to shut down again by the start of next year.”
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu said this was a national issue that should be approached collectively.
Saonu said from the provincial level, there was nothing much to do as the provincial budget allocation for this year was done and money tied to each specific area already exhausted.
“For us to create a miracle from our province is not possible until our divisions in health and health authority come up with a plan to put through for the provincial budget for next year,” he said.