THE Mendi General Hospital in Southern Highlands province is planning on closing down its operating theatres because most of its essential facilities are not working.
The hospital’s chief executive officer, Joseph Turian, said yesterday from Mendi that the hospital will be curtailing its services until new facilities are installed.
He said if new facilities were not installed, the hospital would close down for an indefinite period.
Mr Turian told The National yesterday that the hospital needed new washing machines, tanks, water pumps and kitchen facilities.
He said the equipment had not been replaced since the hospital first opened in 1974 and had deteriorated.
“We are going to limit our services because the hospital cannot operate without these.
“And if we have to, we will close down the hospital,” Mr Turian said.
He said the hospital could not use its operating theatres if the washing machines were not working.
According to Mr Turian, there were four washing machines but only one remained, along with a dryer.
He said if the operating theatres were used, washing machines were needed to wash the linens.
He said tanks were also needed because the current 200,000l reservoir tank had a leak at the base.
Mr Turian also said the water was not pressurised and the hospital had never had water pumps installed for the past 15 years, adding that as a result, the hospital was a fire hazard.
“If there is a fire, we do not have pressurised water to stop it so we will just have to help the sick people run for their lives,” he said.
Mr Turian also listed kitchen stoves, scone ovens, food trolleys and sinks that also needed to be replaced, adding that they were cooking for the patients outside and using limited food trolleys to deliver the meals.
He also said the hospital’s four-body morgue needed to be extended to cater for the increasing number of deaths.
Mr Turian said it was extremely important that these services were improved.
The 360-bed hospital caters for the whole province and has 300 staff of which 14 are doctors and also offers post-graduate training for doctors.