22 Apr 2004

Oxygen crisis in PNG hospitals

10:04 am on 22 April 2004

A critical shortage of bottled oxygen has resulted in the death of two people waiting for surgery at the Port Moresby General Hospital in Papua New Guinea.

Senior nurses at the Hospital yesterday called the Post Courier newspaper to advise of the two deaths, one of them a child who died because the oxygen in the children's ward had run out on Monday night.

Several others are at risk as hospital authorities have put operations on hold due to a lack of oxygen.

Hospitals in other centres throughout the country also reported shortages of bottled water, some indicating it is an ongoing problem.

The hospital has confirmed the lack of oxygen at the hospital, and also that there is a lack of funds to buy in the life-saving gas.

Meanwhile, BOC Gas officials in Port Moresby have indicated the hospital has more than 100 oxygen gas cylinders locked up at the capital's main wharf which are being prepared for pick-up.