|SPC Members Bire Kimisopa, Gary Juffa with Dr Yvonne Sapuri and POMGEN CEO Grant Muddle during the committee's hearing into Health Management in PNG|
The head of the country's biggest hospital has made astounding revelations that many people were believed to have died at one stage this year, due to vital pharmaceutical supplies, especially the double blood bag, running out.
Port Moresby General Hospital's Chief Executive Officer, Grant Muddle, revealed this at the Special Parliamentary Committee for Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery hearing into the Health Management in Papua New Guinea this week.
Grant Muddle, the CEO of Port Moresby General Hospital has expressed his professional and independent view of the National Department of Health and how the country's biggest referral Hospital, has been managed before the Special Parliamentary Committee.
The C-E-O told the committee, the entire country at one stage this year has ran out of vital pharmaceutical supplies, specifically the double blood bag.
Muddle said, to date, there's no records of how many people died around the country due to the shortage of blood bags.
He said, procurement of pharmaceutical supplies usually comes from the main Area Medical Supply or AMS, however, for unknown reasons the National Department of Health failed to supply.
"One classic example is the country ran out of double blood bags.Double blood bags are bags used for blood collection.If you cant collect blood then you can't do a large number of surgeries which means people die. There are number of procedures, operation we could do safely, we couldn't do,...How many people died , I don't know, may be no one died in that period,...I don't have any, you know,.. black and white statistic...Logic would tell me that people died in that time frame".
The country not only ran out of blood bags, but other vital consumable drugs as well this year.
"why we are running out I dont know...."
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase when asked, confirmed saying, the shortage lasted for 24 hours, And supplies were distributed after wards.
Pascoe Kase ssaid, lack of proper calculations by the hospitals in their request is also something that is causing the shortage at the Headquarter.
He said NDoH purchase pharmaceutical supplies according to the figures requested, and when they miss calculate, such shortages occurs.
He further said each hospitals must plan properly for the whole year so that they give in the right estimates.
The Secretary further said funding is also another factor to be considered.
He said procurement of medical supplies are done on time when funding is made available on time.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, however said, despite many ageing health issues facing the country, progress are also being made in many areas in the recent years with good government funding.