Friday, September 23, 2011
Medical care in PNG..... or lack of it.
Long time no blog..... well i'm back... I arrived back in PNG on Friday, I headed down to the local market to pick up some fruit. There is a small ‘convenience’ store where you can buy a few basic things like flour, soap and a few miscellaneous household items. Not often anything you need, but none the less it is a shop. At the cash register there is a cardboard box. It has a hole in the top and on the side it has written "donations to pay for medical clinic electricity bill" I’ve never been to the public clinic as we have a private clinic within the company we work for. So I went over and spoke with the staff to find out what the story was. The Gusap health centre is the local hospital. It provides medical care for around 20,000 locals in the area. They see up to 1200 outpatients a month, 700 inpatients, as well as delivering around 60 babies month. They are currently without power and have been since February as they owe $34,000 Kina to the power company. The clinic is so basic. They don't even have sheets on the beds that they do have. It is heartbreaking that their medical care is so sub standard, and now they have to do it all with no power. A new sexually transmitted infections clinic was built out the back of the hospital in 2009, whilst building it they used the hospital power and contributed significantly to the power bill. The building was funded by Ausaid so I have contacted them in hope of getting some financial assistance to get the power back on. I had a tour of the hospital and took a few photos. I have to share... Having just delivered a baby in a fantastic hospital in Melbourne, the horrific conditions of the delivery suite really stuck a chord with me. This is the delivery bed. It used to be in a bigger room, but the room has no windows for light, so now they have moved the bed into a small room used for post-natal care.