AMS Medical Supply Shortages Affecting PMGH

Port Moresby General Hospital is facing shortage of medical drugs and supplies. This poses critical risks to patients and frustrating medical officers.

According to hospital management, doctors are unable to perform their duties efficiently because they lack essential and appropriate supplies and consumables.

This fact was expressed by Professor Glen Mola on social media recently outlining his frustration of the difficulties faced by the doctors at the Port Moresby General Hospital on a daily basis.

“It is becoming more and more difficult for us to do our jobs as doctors has become more and more challenging nowadays because of shortages of essential medicines, disposables and equipment. It seems that there are more and more things that are not available on a daily basis,” Professor Mola said. “This past week we have run out of the standard IV fluid (Normal Saline) for resuscitation of our patients.  On the other hand we have plenty of an IV fluid that we hardly ever need to use (Dextrose N/5 Saline); if we use this inappropriate fluid for blood and fluid loss resuscitation we can cause water intoxication and death of our patients.”

He said PMGH had run out of Cidex (gluataldehyde) which is needed to sterilize equipment in the labor ward and operating theatre. Hence they had resorted to just washing and drying their equipment instead, which he referred to as a second best.

He said important blood tests are not done because they lack the necessary laboratory reagents.  In regards to medicines, often times they don’t have important lifesaving drugs on a regular basis. 

“For example in gynecology at the moment we do not have any norethisterone at the moment. That is the drug we need to stop serious gynecological hemorrhage in women,” said Professor Mola. 

These sentiments were confirmed by hospital CEO, Dr. Paki Molumi. He affirmed with the media on a social media group on WhatsApp, that there is an ongoing chronic shortage of drugs and consumables at the Badili Area Medical Store, and that is having the rippling effect on hospitals including PMGH.  

“AMS only supplies 1/3 of catalogued drugs and consumables required by PMGH, while PMGH purchases 70% of the short fall supposed to be provided by NDOH through AMS Badili and also specialised drugs not on catalogue,” Dr. Molumi said.

He added that the chronic nil stock of drugs and consumables at AMS Badili needs urgent attention by National Department of Health (NDOH) as it is affecting the operations of the hospital.  

In the meantime, as much as possible, the hospital purchases drugs and supplies for inpatients, even so, many are also given prescriptions to purchase outside, similarly the outpatients.

Dr. Molumi said the budget for catalogued Drugs and Consumables goes to NDOH, so it is responsible for the purchasing of the supplies for the hospitals through the AMS.

Attempts to get a comment from the department were unsuccessful at this time.

Frieda Kana