Psychiatric facility a national shame, PAC told

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011

THE country’s only mental institution, Laloki Psychiatric Hospital outside Port Moresby, is a national shame, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday.
It was in an appalling state – a sordid institution with poor living and working conditions for the employees and the patients who were all immune to communicable diseases such as TB, the committee heard.
The PAC was told that the hospital had no beds for the patients while young children were also living together with the mentally ill adult people.
It was revealed that specialist doctors were lacking at the facility which had more than 100 patients.
PAC chairman Ma­lakai Tabar said during the inquiry that Laloki was more like a prison than a hospital, with poor water and sanitation facilities, a serious threat to patients and workers who were likely to contract diseases due to the poor health facilities.
The inquiry into health was suspended last month after the sudden death of Dr Likei Theo but resumed yesterday.
Tabar said yesterday that the PAC visited the hospital and witnessed the sad and poor state it was in.
He described it as a disgrace that there were no plans for its improvement and that it was totally ignored and forgotten.