10 Jan 2019

Bougainville hospital understaffed, short of drugs

5:00 pm on 10 January 2019

Bougainville's Arawa District Hospital in Papua New Guinea is facing an acute staff shortage amid a surge in patients.

Arawa, Bougainville

Arawa, Bougainville Photo: RNZI

The hospital was deemed a district hospital in 2018, but it is trying to cope with the same level of staff as a number of years ago.

The Post Courier newspaper quoted central Bougainville health executive director, Cyril Imako, saying that despite 'the trend of increasing patients being seen at the hospital, there has been no corresponding increase in staffing.'

He said if this continued staff would burn out and not be able to perform their duties properly.

Dr Imako said the autonomous Bougainville government needed to boost services at the facility.

Arawa Hospital is also short of basic drugs, such as antibiotics and consumables like intravenous fluid sets and gloves.

Dr Imako said this was mainly due to the shipping problems Bougainville faced.