The aging workforce in the Madang Province’s health sector is becoming a concern for the provincial health authorities as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the province.
Madang Provincial Health Authority Nursing Services Acting Manager revealed that 80 percent of the frontline workers in Madang are over the age of 60 approaching retirement.
Josephine Maiwa said the new triage and outpatients now staged outside of the hospital need young health officers to respond to COVID-19 cases.
Maiwa has recruited 20 health workers as casuals to assist during this time.
She says the nursing manpower is critical at this time when there is a need for more health care workers to respond to covid19 patients.
The twenty health care workers that have been recruited will be working at the hospital’s new set up outside of the hospital where all the outpatient, triaging and screening is staged.
Provincial Emergency Physician, Dr. Juith Gawi, says two officers will man the gate to make sure everyone follows the covid19 preventative measures before accessing the triage center.
He added patients who require hospitalization will be screened and directly sent to the outpatient or the emergency department.
Once treated, they will be put into an isolation ward.
The ward will house patients with moderate to severe symptoms to be looked after for the next 14 days until they are cleared and released into the community.
A white tent will be set up as a secondary screening area for people who do not meet the covid19 criteria test and those with other common outpatient diseases.
The new set up was to avoid any outpatient cases to go into the hospital area.
Vehicles will be checked and only the patient, guardian and the driver will be allowed into the hospital.
The emergency department will only respond to very severe or life threatening cases.
Covid19 screening and testing are available at the provincial hospital, Divine Word University, Alexishaphen and Yagaum Lutheran hospital.