13 Apr 2006

New Zealand MP horrified by grim state of hospital in PNG

7:56 pm on 13 April 2006

The leader of an Australasian parliamentary delegation to Papua New Guinea is appalled at the state of Angau hospital in Lae.

New Zealand Labour MP, Steve Chadwick, has been heading a team touring parts of PNG, principally to increase its awareness of the scale of the problems posed by the country's soaring HIV/Aids levels.

Ms Chadwick says it is plain that funding intended for provincial and village health services in general is not getting through.

A former midwife, she says she was stunned to find that the public hospital in PNG's second biggest city, Lae, is falling down.

"The closed the gynnie [gynaecological] two weeks ago because a bed fell through the floorboards - the termites had eaten it. The proper maternity unit was closed well over a year ago and they have relocated into a place that is deplorable frankly, and just, sanitation that is very poor with mattresses on the floor all cramped up against each other, with basically very obvious unsanitary conditions."