22 Sep 2004

PNG hospital pathology service under threat

1:16 pm on 22 September 2004

Papua New Guinea's largest hospital says it will close its pathology service unless the government releases funds for the purchase of reagents for blood tests.

The Port Moresby General Hospital's chief executive officer, Dr Alphonse Tay, is quoted in the Post Courier newspaper as saying reagent supplies are running low and pathology services are being concentrated on emergency cases and critically ill patients.

Dr Tay confirmed that the hospital had sufficient basic drugs such as malaria tablets and amoxcyllin but said these could also run out if there were no funds available to replace them.

The reagents are usually purchased by the Health Department's pharmaceutical branch.

The newspaper says officers at the branch refused to comment at first, but eventually said payments had been made to a supplier but the money had been sent to the wrong account by a bank.

They said this was being sorted.