By GLORIA BAUAI
BRAUN Memorial District Hospital has scaled down normal operations for an indefinite period from today, according to a circular released by management last week.
The hospital had not received operational grants from the Christian Health Services through the Lutheran Health Services since April due to government budget cuts.
In an earlier interview, Lutheran Health Services secretary Katu Yapi said Braun Hospital should be working with an annual budget of between K800,000 and K1 million.
He said, however, the level four rural hospital in Finschhafen, Morobe, received only about K120,000.
As a result, support staff have been working without salary since July and the hospital is running out of operational materials including clinical services.
Yapi said the hospital had a two-month outstanding power bill; no cleaning and laundry detergents; an ambulance and other machinery in need of maintenance and parts; no fuel for its standby generator and other machinery; no emergency medical supplies at its pharmacy; no laboratory reagents and chemicals for the pathology section; and, an increase in Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.
As per the circular signed by the hospital administrator Simon Sonny, the chief executive officer Hazel Kutkue and the board chairman Gulingmuke Giusu, the hospital will attend to those with proper referral letters; the rest have been advised to go to their nearest health centres and aid posts for treatment.
The hospital will not be providing all outpatient re-attendance, consultation services, elective surgical services and dental services.
By GLORIA BAUAI