8 Oct 2003

No medical specialists at PNG's Mt Hagen hospital

4:22 pm on 8 October 2003

The Mount Hagen general hospital in Papua New Guinea is operating wihout any specialist medical officers.

The National newspaper says the issue was brought to light by the National Doctors Association in a petition to the hospital board in July.

The NDA says there are gaps in obstetrics, gynaecology, anaesthesia, radiology and internal medicine which are major causes for concern.

The doctors say as Mount Hagen is a level 2 referral hospital, it is not providing the services it should be according to its hospital mission statement and this could leave it open to litigation.

The chairman of the hospital board, David Guinn, says the problem was caused because one doctor had been transferred away and another was on leave.

He says they've been assured that another doctor will be sent to the hospital next year.

But, Mr Guinn says at this stage, that's only a promise which he hopes is fulfilled.

And, he says he will take up the matter of incentives with the provincial government in an attempt to meet another point in the petition.