The Etep Rural Hospital in Morobe’s Tewae Siassi District provides health for a large number of people from the district itself and neighboring areas.
The Hospital’s Director of Corporate Services, Domben Gandeng said there’s been an increase in demand for health care in the area over the years.
“It’s been here a long time serving the population here, especially Kabwum, Tewae- Siassi and the neighbouring districts. Madang, inland Raikos and the islands,” Gandeng said.
This Lutheran Mission run hospital is one of four major mission hospitals in the Momase Region. It has been supported by the church, and the government through the Church Health Services.
Mr. Gandeng said they have also received funds from the governments free health care policy.
“We received funds last month, and we bought materials to maintain the facilities,” Mr. Gandeng said.
This however has not been enough to cater for existing problems.
Earlier this year the hospital was forced to close its doors due to a shortage of medical supplies.
“This year we closed our outpatient twice because we did not have medical supplies on the ground. We had to send patients to pharmacies which is costlier,” said Mr. Gandeng.
“Another challenge is that when the supplies are ready to be transported here, the logistics companies, contractors fail us.”
He said the delay in receiving medical supplies was common. Further adding that they haveve seen people losing their lives in hospital whilst waiting for supplies.
Mr. Gandeng said more support is needed to cater for the growing population and increase in demand for health services in rural areas.
MP for Tewae- Siassi, Dr. Kobby Bomareo said the previous district administration contributed K200,000 to the hospital stating that it was not enough to cater for the population served by the hospital.
“Health is an important part of community empowerment, and improvement,” Dr. Bomareo said.
He acknowledged the the issues of medical drug shortage stating that he will be working closely with the church and other stakeholders to improve the hospital standards during his term.