By LULU MARK
THE Rita Flynn Covid-19 isolation and treatment facility in Port Moresby has been closed for the past three weeks because of funding problems, an official says.
National Capital District Health Authority chief executive officer Dr Jerry Tanumei told The National that the unavailability of operational funding had affected the sustaining of services at the centre where hundreds of confirmed cases had been treated since March.
He said there was no patient isolated at the centre today although they were continuing swabbing there.
“We provide the clinical management but for operational funding, we depend on the Health Department in a significant way,” he said.
“It’s like a field hospital.
“And just like any hospital, you need funds to operate.
“If there are funding constraints, you cannot do much.
“You just have to scale down.”
He said they were reviewing the Covid-19 response in partnership with the Health Department.
“We are awaiting funding from the department to have it going at a minimum level because the patient number is not many,” Dr Tanumei said.
National Control Centre incident manager Dr Daoni Esorom said they were urging provincial health authorities around the country to do more Covid-19 tests after a spike had been forecast in November and December.
He explained that there were some outstanding payments for employees of the National Capital District Health Authority and service providers.
“Hopefully, we can get the centre open again,” he said.
Dr Esorom said people could still go to the Port Moresby General Hospital and other urban clinics to get swabbed.
By LULU MARK