PMGH mortuary full

The Port Moresby General Hospital has considered engaging in a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement to address the lack of space at the mortuary in Port Moresby.

CEO Dr Paki Molumi said there are up to 300 bodies being kept in a facility that can cater for only 120 at a time.

The mortuary in the nation’s capital is pushing its limits, and residents whose loved ones have been in there for quite a while, have been asked to bury their relatives, or they will be face mass burial.

“As you’ve seen in the papers, we are asking for relatives to come and claim the bodies and give them a decent burial. If that doesn’t happen then we will do a mass burial,” Dr Molumi said.

Early this month, a concerned citizen had raised concerns about bodies being laid outside because the morgue was full.

“That time you received the report, the bodies were outside for three hours or so, while we were looking for space to put them inside. So that’s the situation.”

He said morgue was built some 50 to 60 years ago to cater for the population at that time.

“Now the population has increased. We tried our best to put two refrigerated containers outside. Currently there are 200 to 300 bodies in there on a capacity of 120.”

In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, it is critical that the morgue be expanded.

“Mass burial is ongoing, but at this time, we got to empty the morgue, and prepare for COVID-19.”

Dr Molumi said PMGH has a long term plan to address the situation by way of a public-private partnership.

“We call on partners like the funeral home, Dove Funeral Home … to partner with us and NCDC, as the mortuary is a function of NCDC, but supported by PMGH. We do PPP to improve the facility to a modern, nice facility.”

Salome Vincent