15 Aug 2002

PNG's hospitals suffer from funding problems

4:16 pm on 15 August 2002

The Board Chairman of Papua New Guinea's second largest hospital says a lack of funds forces hospitals nationwide to survive on a month by month basis.

Ross Humphries says this has led to a drug shortage, which almost forced the closure of Lae's Angau Memorial Hospital.

He says his hospsital cut back services and rationed out its dwindling drug supplies to avoid closure.

Other hospitals affected by the drug shortage are Goroka and PNG's largest hospital, Port Moresby.

Mr Humphries says the future of the hospitals is constantly in doubt.

"We do have a lot of problems in health services. Money that is available for health comes from the Treasury. The Treasury always has a certain amount of funds and they, I guess, jiggle it to go to where there is the most need it's almost living from month to month"

Ross Humphries says supplies are at Lae Wharf and should be released once the Health Department has paid its debts to overseas drug companies.