It’s not the right time to build PMC

Letters, Normal

I  have been following the debate on the Pacific Medical Centre.
The more the people express their disapproval, the more stubborn the health ministry becomes.
Among the many comments, health workers are the ones making the loudest noise as their mark of disapproval.
Most are professional people at the end of the health service delivery system who feel the pinch of not being adequately resourced.
They are often forced to make do with whatever little they have.
Often they have to improvise to save lives.
Most, if not all health facilities, are either understaffed or underfunded as revealed in a case study and published in the The National (Oct 19).
Even if funding is available, accessibility is cumbersome, courtesy of long and unnecessary financial procedures.
It is quite ironic for a learned doctor like Dr Paison Dakulala to aggressively defend this ambitious project.
He was a clinician before being appointed to his current position.
Therefore, he should know all the problems faced by his co-workers.
I am sure he knows where to better invest the K500 million. 
We need to reopen all the closed community health posts, including building some more because the existing and those closed were built long ago to cater for a smaller population at that time.
With the rapid rise in our population, we need to increase facilities and manpower as well as constant supply of basic medicines and equipment. 
All other levels of health facilities should also be strengthened and supported too.
By the way, can somebody from the health ministry tell me just how the Pacific Medical Centre will help in reducing the high maternal and infant mortality rates?
We all know that most of our maternal mortality and infant mortality rates come from the rural settings where 85% of the population is based.
Just how much of the 85% of our rural population will have access to the “super hospital” at Bautama when accessibility to the Port Moresby General Hospital, the country’s tertiary referral hospital, is minimal?
It does not matter whether the ambitious project is reflected in the national health plan, Vision 2050 or whatever plans, the proposal to build PMC should be shelved.
When our country’s social indicators, particularly health, show an improvement, then we can talk about building a state-of-the-art hospital.
One way to do so would be to fast track the implementation of Provincial Health Authorities Act, which is the vehicle to drive all health programmes to produce the desired results.


Dr Lusove Ngomo