Over the past 2 weeks, Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) has had an extremely busy period in Accident and Emergency, in the maternity ward, the surgical wards and also in the much-loved children’s ward.
While there was lots of positive news over this period, with the hospital having record levels of new babies born, there have also been concerns raised over why are there so many people waiting in the corridors to see a doctor at PMGH.
The answer is very simple…PMGH is not a primary care healthcare facility.
PMGH is the largest Hospital in Papua New Guinea and the demands placed on is infrastructure; the staff and the resources available to it are extreme.
Over the past 12 months PMGH has undergone numerous changes including the development of new wards, improved systems, streamlining processes to allow the hospital to cater to more patients, new equipment and the list goes on.
These changes have all occurred in a very short time frame thanks to the drive of the Board of Management and CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle.
PMGH Hospital is a major part of the health system in PNG. The role of the hospital has always been set as a referral hospital, and not as primary care. Primary Care has always been the purview of the NCD Urban Health clinics. Put basically, PMGH is here to provide specialist treatments to patients that have been referred to the hospital.
The CEO, Mr. Muddle provided this comment, “Since I started my new position as CEO of the Hospital, I have had a few key priorities. These included 1. Improving the Facilities of the Hospital, 2. Improve Staff processes and number of staff, 3. Improving the Hospitals Primary Equipment, 4. Improving patient care and treatments, 5. Improving our working relationship with NCD Urban Health Facilities and UPNG Medical School, 6. Provide Port Moresby and PNG with a leading hospital that is of global standard for treatment and care. PMGH, since I arrived as CEO, has been working outside many of the guidelines set by the Department of Health to try and support the Port Moresby Community and in many cases PNG overall. These added services that the hospital has been trying to carry, has placed untold stress on staff, reduced our ability to function correctly as a referral hospital, has used up our budgets that were required to maintain our primary equipment to care for patients and the list goes on. We are working with the National Department of Health and very closely with Hon. Michael Malabag, Minister for Health & HIV/Aids to ensure we get the right processes in place for the community. This includes ensuring the community use
the NCD Urban health clinics for primary care. Primary care is all about seeing a doctor for minor health issues covering things like the flu, your child’s health and immunisation, coughs, colds, questions on health, blood tests and the list goes on. If the NCD Urban Health Clinic Doctors then need to refer the patient to PMGH, we will then act to further support, diagnose and treat these patients. We will be working over the next few weeks to educate the community on where their local NCD Urban Health Clinics are. Its not a case of PMGH turning away patients, but it is more about getting the right process in place to ensure everyone is getting the best care possible. We have launched our website and we have launched our social media site (via Facebook) and I will ensure these are updated with the correct information for people to follow. PMGH will work directly with NCD Urban Health Clinics to ensure the required services are being provided and that we continue to work closely to provide fast and effective healthcare. I understand the issues facing people each day with regards to health, and we are doing everything to improve patient care as fast as we can”
PMGH CEO, is not just talking but really delivering on his promises to Port Moresby to improve the level of healthcare.
CEO Mr. Muddle continued his comments, “to give you an idea of what we are doing to improve our services and effectiveness as a hospital we have recently added 24 new registered nurses, a further 38 arrive from the Philippines on Thursday 15th May, we have added 50 new cleaning and catering staff, we have purchased a new CT machine to better diagnose patients, planning for an MRI, we are expanding and improving our services in Radiology, Pediatrics and Intensive Care. Plans are afoot for a new Women and Children’s wing. We really are committed to patient care. We understand there might be some frustrations and people having to get used to these changes, but it is in the best interest of everyone in improving our patient care.”
So if you have an illness and you feel you need to see a doctor, enquire to where the nearest NCD Urban Clinic is located and visit them first prior to coming to PMGH. If you have a genuine emergency, do not delay in calling the St Johns Ambulance Service or make your way immediately to the Accident and Emergency at PMGH for immediate assessment and treatment.