15 Jun 2005

PNG Highlands hospital facing critical supply shortages

9:18 am on 15 June 2005

The acting Chief Executive of Kundiawa hospital in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea says operations, x-ray and laboratory work, have ground to a halt there due to a lack of supplies.

Opa Tugo says for the past couple of weeks, the hospital has been forced to refer patients to other hospitals in the province because of its critical shortage of basic medical stocks.

However, the Health Minister Melchior Pep has denied claims in the Post Courier newspaper that six hospitals in the Highlands face critical shortages of drugs and equipment.

He says each region has central medical stores from which hospitals can procure the supplies they need.

But Mrs Tugo says having tried that avenue her hospital is still short of basic supplies.

"We're not operating for the last couple of weeks because these stocks were out. We cannot get them from the local supplier or from other sister hospitals. We asked but they have very limited stock and they can't help us. So for the last couple of days, I've been referring patients to Goroka base."