Low manpower, drugs at Modilon

As 2017 winds down, Modilon General Hospital in Madang is still experiencing longstanding challenges.

The cut in budget at the government level impacted many areas of the health sector.

For the hospitals, it was a hard year.

Modilon was restricted by the Department of Personnel Management to recruit this year, hence the struggle with manpower.

Sr Gulag Sual, the director nursing services, says: "We only recruited for vacancies that came up.  No mass recruit from institutes this year.”

She also revealed the hospital's challenge with drug shortage.

Sr Gulag said the hospital was forced to buy their own drugs like antibiotics and anti-malarial and other medical supplies.

This, she said, greatly affected their own funding.

"We had to turn to revenue collection from patients. We're so sorry, but we cannot help, because this money will help with the purchases," she said.

An even bigger issue is the need for space.

With all rural health centres in rundown and non-working conditions, Sr Gulag says there has been an influx in patients at the hospital.

But by next year, there are plans to put the hospital under provincial authority and be made a referral hospital.

"This means we will only be dealing with referred patients. All district hospitals should be in operation, cater for the population in their areas," she said.

Modilon General Hospital also has specialist doctors.

"And we intend to get a few more. We hope to bring the status of this hospital up," she said.

Gloria Bauai