PORT MORESBY HOSPITAL OUT OF DRUGS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 24, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The Port Moresby General Hospital is critically short of drugs.

Medical superintendent Dr. Chris Marjen is hoping and "praying’’ the government will bail the hospital out.

"We don’t have drugs that can put you to sleep during an operation and wake you up again. We need antibiotics,’’ Dr. Marjen said, adding that only emergency surgery and laboratory tests are being carried out.

"There are no anesthetic drugs and laboratory reagents. Please try not to get sick because there is no medicine across the board, as I can only hope and pray the government will bail us out," he said yesterday.

Dr. Marjen renewed his call for assistance from the business houses yesterday after receiving more than K 26,000 (US$ 7,213) worth of medicine from Trade Link International Pty Limited.

He thanked Trade Link director Robinson Namaliu for assisting the hospital and said the donation came at a time when the hospital was in dire need.

Mr. Namaliu said the company came to the aid of the hospital after learning through the media of the call by Dr. Marjen for assistance.

Dr. Marjen said the situation at the hospital remains the same as it was when he made the call for assistance last Friday.

Dr. Marjen said business houses willing to help should contact the hospital. The hospital needs drugs and other medical supplies urgently.

"We don’t want cash donations. We provide you the list and you pay the supplier. This is the only way you can help us," he said.

He said the hospital needed K 200,000 (US$ 55,480) worth of medicine per month to operate and added that it required K 700,000 (US$ 194,180) at the moment to get a three-month supply reserve, which the hospital does not have at present.

Dr. Marjen said he had written to Health Secretary Anthony Mann informing him of the situation, but to date has not received any response.

"If the Health Secretary has not been informed then it is up to his officers to brief him," he said.

Dr. Mann last week denied there was a medical supply problem.

Dr. Marjen said he and his office has been in close consultation with the pharmaceutical division of the health department since he dispatched the secretary’s letter on March 22.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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