By GLENDA AWIKIAK
Every patient seeking medical attention at a health facility, be that an aid post, clinic, health center or major referral hospital, does not want to wait long hours and in long queues to get treated or supplied drugs.
Whether it be a minor, severe or emergency case all patients have the same desire to be treated at least within the shortest time possible without much hassle.
If a facility can provide such a standard ofservice that is obviously where more people seeking health services would flock to. And that happens to be the case at a major National Capital District health facility, the Gerehu General Hospital.
People from all over Port Moresby city and its settlements, as well as Gulf and Central provinces have been seeking health services at this facility because of it boasts the best services in the city.
People arrive on foot, PMV buses, taxi cabs, private vehicles and emergency vehicles like St John Ambulance. I pass by the hospital every morning heading to work and I often wonder if the whole crowd lining up do receive treatment at the end of the day. This has gone on for four months and I had thought to myself not to fall sick and end up in such a situation as there were too many people on any given day and I feared I might not be treated if fronted up with a health issue.
But the chance to prove that myself and see how the patients are treated and the health workers helped the patients came when I was forced into a situation where I had to assist my aunt to the hospital to seek treatment for her back and neck aches. Since we are living at Gerehu we had to go the Gerehu General Hospital.
The sun was already over my head as I was making my way towards the hospital gate with my aunt who was seeking treatment for her back ache and pains over the past week and which has gotten worse the previous night.
It was 9.30 am on a Saturday last month and I thought it there would be not many patients so we could go for a quick check and get treatment.
However, patients had packed all corners of the hospital. They occupied the rest house, the car park, the entrance to the outpatient section, and the patient registration, diagnosis and treatment areas.
Seeing the number of people and the various queues there I was already thinking we might not be treated as it was the weekend because time would catch up as that was the experience I had in several other health facilities I had visited earlier.
In less than five minutes we were at the registration counter and we got registered and we moved to the consultation area.
I left my aunt on that queue and went out when she was the last on the 30th chair and was wondering if she made it. I returned after 15 minutes and she was no longer there but in the other room already close to being served. After two more patients and she would be seeing the nurse to give her details. Compared to previous experiences at other health facilities, that was amazing to me.
We had about five nurses seated at their work stations talking with patients. After 10 minutes I returned to see the progress of my aunt’s movement on the line and was quite surprised that she was next to be called in by a health worker.
That was the fastest service I have ever seen in a Port Moresby health facility. Besides, the health workers talked nicely to the patients and never delayed unnecessarily in their next step or process of treatment for the patients.
It was another crowd again at the pharmacy section where patients received their prescribed drugs. But I was again fascinated to see the way the officers sorted out the medicines and patients and that was in 10 minutes and the crowd just disappeared.
That has been my first experience of how fast and effective the health workers of Gerehu General Hospital are.
I now know why patients packed the hospital waiting area every morning.
They don’t like waiting in long queues and being talked to harshly but treated fairly and efficiently. Gerehu General Hospital is fast gaining the confidence of not only the suburb and city residents but also those travelling in from Central and Gulf.