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June 15, 2021
Health Highlands News

New emergency care system trialed at Mt Hagen General Hospital

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Mt Hagen General Hospital is trialing a new emergency care system at its emergency department. The Triage system assesses patient’s illnesses and sorts out patients in terms of priority for doctors to attend to. The system was introduced by the World Health Organisation.

The triage emergency care system is intended to save lives. Any patient who is brought in at the emergency department will be registered and be assessed to see what type of the three categories they fit in to be served properly by emergency staffs.

Category 1 – those in critical condition that needs to be attended to by a doctor within 5 minutes.
Category 2 – patients that need to be attended to within 15 minutes, and
Category 3 – non-urgent patients who can wait up to two hours for medical attention.

Emergency Physician, Dr Junior McKup commented, ’’…So we will see the most critical patients first, and those who are stable can wait, we will still treat them.”

Mt Hagen General Hospital’s emergency department is one of the busiest in the country that attends to well over 200 patients each day. This year alone, the hospital has recorded attending to more than 47, 000 patients, of this, 30% make up patients from Enga and Southern Highlands provinces. This has prompted a need to build the capacity of urban clinics and health centres in Mt Hagen city.

According to Emergency Physician, Dr Junior McKup, the new ‘Triage Emergency System’ will allow for critically ill patients to be attended to immediately, and hopefully minimise disagreements with patients who are in a more stable condition.
’’You know we’ve experienced this in the past, but it will also be a thing of the past. The new system is much more organised, efficient and less crowding. Patients know where to go first before being seen by a doctor or HEO, ’’ said Dr McKup.

The Emergency Physician added that with the new system, the emergency department will serve a patient according to their conditions, and not on a first-come-first serve basis.

The new system is starting to work well for the hospital, and there are plans by the National Health Department, WHO, and other partners to roll-out the system in other centres.

A team from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine has been in the province, assisting the team implement the new Emergency Triage System.

By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen

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