By ELIAS LARI
THE Mt Hagen General Hospital is unable to re-open all services due to ongoing funding restrictions, the provincial health authority (PHA) says.
Authority chairman David Guinn said despite the fact that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) admissions had reduced, services were still affected.
He said they had been raising the issue of ongoing underfunding through its appropriations for 2021 and had received assurances that the Health Department was working with Treasury and Finance departments to ensure funding promises would be honoured.
Guinn said they had received only 33 per cent of the appropriation.
“We have to purchase basic drugs and medical supplies not supplied through the normal system, pay essential staff not yet transferred to the national payroll system, buy diesel, keep an old vehicle fleet operational and provide food and laundry services to our patients,” he said.
Guinn said the appropriation was already about K15 million less than what they needed.
“When we previously raised this issue, the response was that we had been donated a lot of funds,” he said.
“That is true and they were for the Covid-19 and the authority is one of a few PHAs that had at that time fully acquitted it’s funds and provided plans for future needs.”
He said the authority was also awaiting the release of funds for the completion of the quarantine shed from the provincial Covid-19 trust account which had been locked up since January apparently due to changes in signatories.
Guinn said the PHA had been fortunate to receive donor funding for its Covid-19 plan.
He said only lifesaving emergency and surgical services could be provided from its emergency department and surgical services.
He said tuberculosis and antiretroviral drug therapy could still collect medication if required.
Guinn said as soon as funding became available, consultation clinics would be re-opened.
By ELIAS LARI