DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
CONCERNS have been raised over Angau Memorial Hospital’s lack of manpower and equipment in a vital unit in the pathology department .
The hospital was over the years, operated without a pathologist and a histology unit.
Newly-appointed pathologist for the hospital Dr Francis Bannick said it was important that every hospital has the services of a pathologist, as it would make detection of illnesses and diseases faster, than to have the samples sent down to Port Moresby.
He described the process as “turn-around time” and said that “it could take four to six months and sometimes a year” before results could be received from Port Moresby.
Dr Bannick said the period of time could be very crucial for many patients.
He said the histology unit in the pathology department had suffered years of neglect, which was evident in its rundown and bare state.
The last pathologist who worked in Angau left the country in 2001.
Dr Bannick came into the province last month to work as the pathologist for the department.
He also specialises in histology which is only practised by two other doctors in the country.
Dr Bannick said the department consists of four units; the microbiology; haematology; biochemistry; and histology and are vital units in the department.
He said a lot of Papua New Guineans still did not understand and appreciate the importance of having a pathology department.
He said with pathology, diseases and illnesses could be identified and treated correctly.
Dr Bannick’s main concern was that the hospital did not have a histology unit.
He said this unit was vital to the clinical operations of the hospital and was important for the detection of cancers as well as other diseases.
Dr Bannick also said that he had written to the Health Department in 2007 with a list of requests to rehabilitate the department when he was first asked to work at Angau in 2007.
However, there has been no response to date.
He asked the Health Department to fast track the list of equipment and consumables needed to rehabilitate the centre and said he did not want to waste time doing nothing.
Dr Bannick will travel to Port Moresby to follow up on the list this week.