Patients impressed with free health care

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday February 25th, 2014


PATIENTS at the Port Moresby General Hospital were pleasantly surprised when they found out yesterday they did not have to pay for basic health services.

Patients at the labour ward, outpatient and X-ray departments were happy to see that the services were free.

David Ivaratore, a patient waiting to have his X-ray taken, said he was surprised but glad to be one of the first people to receive services under the new free health care policy.

“I came in this morning knowing that I will be charged K20 for the 

X-ray. But I’m happy to spend this K20 on food to feed my family,” he said.

The new free primary health care and subsidised specialised health services became effective from 8am yesterday. 

The only department in the hospital that charged patients was the ante-natal clinic. A staff member said they had not received any formal notice that the policy would be effective from yesterday.

Most of the patients said they had heard about the new policy but needed clarification on the types of services which were free and which ones were subsidised.

Meanwhile, the Nonga General Hospital faced no difficulty in implementing the policy because they had been conducting an awareness in the past month.

Chief executive Dr Ako Yap said they distributed brochures to people and Government representatives conducted an internal awareness.