Mt Hagen General Hospital is going through financial crisis, and is on the brink of laying off short-term contract employees.
The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority has advised the hospital not to accept referral patients coming in from other hospitals in the other Highlands provinces.
Like other Provincial Health Authorities in the Country, funding from the National Government through the Department of Health has not reached the Western Highlands PHA since last year.
This has forced the PHA board to stand on their decision, and for the first time in many years, to refuse referrals from other provinces.
Western Highlands PHA has written to other PHAs in the Highlands region to make them aware of their decision.
WHPHA Chairman, David Guinn, said the other service that will be affected is elective surgery, which will be deferred to a later date when funding is available.
Emergency surgeries would not be affected, and at this stage, all the other services would be maintained.
WHPHA has exhausted their operational funds to run the hospital since 2017.
Guinn had been in contact with the Health Minister, the Acting Health Secretary, and the deputy Treasury Secretary.
” I am hopeful that these service reductions will only be for a few days until funds are released by the department of finance in Waigani,” said Guinn.
However, he said the current financial situation is critical, but the hospital is working with stakeholders to make sure that services can be provided to patients in Western Highlands.
Until Friday this week, the PHA board will make another decision to either close down some services, or return services to normal depending on the funding.
“The important thing was all stakeholders were working together to make sure services can be provided to the 15,000 patients who would be admitted this year, to the more than 5,000 mothers who will deliver their babies in the hospital this year and the 5,300 children expected to be admitted this year,” Guinn said.
By Vasinatta Yama, EMTV News, Mt Hagen