A plan is underway to upgrade urban clinics in Port Moresby so they provide a full range of services seven days a week
Manager for National Capital District Health Services Dr Gary Ou’u says NCD health has a staff of 221 but a submission has already been presented to the Government for an additional 771 staff, including doctors.
This may not be within the Government’s staff ceiling for the Health Department, but Dr Ou’u says the Government has to agree to make amendments because the urban clinics are operating as outpatients so all other services are being taken care of by the Port Moresby General Hospital which is struggling to cope with a high demand for services.
"We’re restricted by the Government but we’ve got a proposal to increase the specialist services. The submission is with the Department of Personnel Management for approval,’’ he says. NCD Health has 21 clinics.
"We need additional specialists, including medical officers so we can take some burden off PMGH,’’ says Dr Ou’u. There is currently one medical officer allocated for each electorate.
He said Port Moresby General Hospital, although is a national referral hospital, is taking in all sorts of patients, some of whom could be cared for at the urban clinics.
Gerehu health facility, which is expected to operate like a hospital sees between 500 to 600 patients a day, some of whom are coming from Central and Gulf provinces.
It also has only three doctors (two employed by St John and one is by NCD health and the clinic is yet to provide a full range of services, including deliveries. The other four medical officers for the urban clinics are a surgeon, physician, paediatrician and an obstretrician, who are sent out on rotation from one urban clinic to another.
Meanwhile, all patients going to PMGH are being told to go to urban clinics first and only come to PMGH if they are referred.
If they need help late in the evenings or nights when the urban clinics are closed, they go straight to PMGH’s accidents and emergency department.
At this department, there is usually a queue of people, and there had been complaints that some patients have waited from night until the next day before they had been served due to lack of health workers. PNG Health News/ Post Courier
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