23 Oct 2002

Growing worries in PNG over medical supply shortages

5:45 pm on 23 October 2002

The executive officer of Angau Memorial Hospital in Papua New Guinea, Margaret Samei, says she is worried about the safety of patients because of ongoing shortages of medical supplies.

Angau hospital, the second largest in PNG, has been facing supply shortages for almost 10 months.

This has forced the closure of all consultation clinics, suspension of elective operations and drugs only being available for in-patients.

Ms Samei says contributions from service organisations, individuals and private companies have meant the hospital has got by since the start of the year.

However she says the situation could get worse before it gets better because of the nation's economic state.

Ms Samei says she is worried about the safety of patients.

"The situation is causing us to compromise on the patient care, like the issue of the risk of spread of infection or it is likely that infection may happen if we are not using the right type of consumables that we're suppose to be using and carrying out the procedures..... that is a concern."

Margaret Samei