THE continuous power blackouts over the years have significantly affected the operations of the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), says chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi.
He said this when responding to media queries on pictures of nurses using their mobile phone torch lights to do their work at the hospital on Monday night during a citywide blackout.
According to PNG Power, there was a system outage in Central and Port Moresby on Monday afternoon at around 4.52pm, however, after restoring almost all the power supply to the city, there was a second total system outage at 8.07pm.
Molumi said the standby generators could not restart as they were old and failing also after prolonged blackouts.
“PMGH, as a 1,200 bed hospital, has eight step up generators,” he said.
“It’s a huge cost to maintain.
“We are purchasing new generators to be installed so we will have first and second backups.
“Soon PMGH will have a reliable power source from multiple backup generators but at a significant operational cost.
“PMGH lost significant number of expensive medical equipment like CT scan, MRI machines directly to power interruptions,” Molumi said.
“The health care delivery by PMGH to the city residents and our country’s population has been heavily compromised by PNG Power’s continuous power outrage.”
He said PMGH, under the National Health Plan 2021-2030, was expected to provide citizens a reliable specialist health care so that they do not need to raise significant amount of money to travel overseas seeking specialised health care.
“While PMGH has worked hard to meet that objective, our own institutions who are mandated to provide a reliable support service like electricity supply are failing us.
“Continuous prolonged power blackouts have been accepted as normal.
“This cannot be to a premier hospital where lives are at risk,” he said.
Molumi said that PMGH was building a modern cancer centre to be operational by September 2023.
He said the latest cancer machines and linear accelerators which would be installed were electricity driven to generate radiation to treat cancers.
“Only a reliable power supply can support the cancer machines,” he said.
“Our drive to provide a modern health care to our citizens cannot be achieved without a reliable electricity supply.”
Statement/TheNational/PNG Health Watch
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