By LULU MARK
THE Port Moresby General (PMGH) does not have enough doctors to keep up with admissions resulting in issues such as delayed surgeries or longer waiting times, a senior doctors say.
National Doctors Association (NDA) president and head of Ear-Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic at PMGH Dr James Naipao said there were claims on social media that doctors were not attending to pregnant women and patients or involved in private practice and not serving the hospital but that was not the main reason for the lack of adequate healthcare. “The real problem PMGH is facing is that it is too small to accommodate the swelling population of Port Moresby and the hospital is also incapacitated by the influx of patients from Central and Gulf,” he said.
“PMGH was built in the colonial era to serve the city’s population of 200,000 and with the extension of the Japanese wing in the 1990s increased its capacity to cater for 400,000.
“Now the population has gone beyond 1.3 million and the hospital remains the same.
“Right now, population growth rate is 2.7 to 3 per cent.
“It means, every year, 270,000 to 300,000 newborns will be added to the population.
“At this current rate, doctor to population ratio will be 1:20,000.
“Planners and hierarchy in Government must know this glaring truth and correct it before it worsens.”
Dr Naipao warned that the longer nothing was done the harder it would be to manage going forward.
“For elective surgery, waiting times to undergo surgery is widening and that’s very concerning,” he said.
“Ignoring the truth and blaming doctors must be evidence based.”
He stressed that the Government needed to quickly build a level 5 hospitals for NCD and Central.
PMGH chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi said PMGH was overloaded and performing responsibilities such as providing primary and secondary care which it was not mandated to do as a Level 6 national specialist referral and teaching hospital.
“The doctors, nurses and support staff are stressed trying to manage this,” he said.
“For example, the labour ward at PMGH is the only public labour ward in the city and Central delivering on average 40 to 60 babies per day.”
By LULU MARK