By ANDREW ALPHONSE in TARI
AFTER years of struggling, the Tari district hospital, which was upgraded as a general hospital, now has eight new doctors and improved medical services, hospital cheif executive officer Dr Bravy Koensong said.
Dr Koensong said the hospital was upgraded on Independence Day this year and was now recognised as one of the 21 general hospitals in PNG.
He thanked Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru, Health Minister Sasa Zibe and secretary Dr Clement Malau for their input towards the upgrade of the hospital.
A memorandum of agreement is yet to be signed between the SHP provincial government and the Health Department to hand over the hospital’s functions to the provincial administration.
He said the hospital had qualified with all necessary health statistics including demographical data, health indicators status and the minimum standard requirements of the Health Department and the National Health Plan.
Dr Koensong said after nearly 35 years, the district hospital had become a fully – fledged and operational hospital with eight doctors- five nationals and three from international medical organisation Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders- serving the 300,000 plus people in Hela, Southern Highlands.
Currently, Dr Koensong manages the hospital as CEO with a new director of medical services, a director of nursing services, a director of corporate services and a project officer with the MSF.
Dr Koensong said before August last year, the hospital was in complete dire strait and rundown but since then, he had worked hard to rebuild the hospital and the upgrade had been the icing on the cake for all the hospital’s achievements.
He said with the improved medical services, there was an influx of patients everyday, with some coming from as far as Lake Kopiago, Koroba, Komo, Margarima, Mt Kare and Kandep in Enga.
Since the upgrade, the CEO has been resopnsible for monitoring and controling staff while there would no longer be any unnecessary referrals of patients to Mendi or Mt Hagen.
The hospital would also try to treat and keep all its patients in Tari and would only medivac patients to other hospitals during emergency cases.
Dr Koensong added that with the assistance from Clinton Foundation, Tari also had one of the best HIV/AIDS clinics in the province.
However, Dr Koensong said his only concern was the lack of money to operate the hospital because with the MSF team, patients received free medical services.
He said he needed money for daily operations, adding that he has not fed the in-patients for a year now because he did not have the money to buy food.
Meanwhile, Dr Koensong also thanked Mr Agiru for securing K20 million recently from the National Government for the redevelopment plan of Tari hospital which is set to start next year.