Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Minor cases ending up in hospitals

PREGNANT women in rural areas who should be receiving medical care at health centres are being referred to hospitals, research has shown.
Sister Matilda Komande of the Kundiawa General Hospital said yesterday that could be because health workers lacked proper facilities and skills to deal with such cases.
The research was initiated at the University of Goroka by the bachelor of midwifery programme coordinator Paula Puawe, with the support of clinical midwifery facilitator Jane Connell.
Midwifery graduates from the university in 2010 and 2012 collected most of the data for the research. 
The research titled “Examination of maternal referrals from health centre to six provincial hospitals in Papua New Guinea” was to find out why large numbers of women seeking maternity care were being referred to the hospitals when they could have been treated at the health centres. It was one of the six research papers presented at the PNG nurses symposium in Mendi by Sr Komande and Sr Christine Waken of the Angau Memorial Hospital.
There were 85 referrals used in the research. 
Many of the referrals were paid for by patients, relatives, churches or companies. Only 29 of the 85 were paid for by the health service.
In the majority of cases, transport costs were paid by the patient or relative, which often took time because of the reluctance of pregnant women to be cared for in hospitals.
One woman, referred for “safe delivery”, had no particular reason to be referred to the hospital. It was her fifth pregnancy with no complications recorded in previous pregnancies.
“Perhaps the health worker did not feel confident, but it cost K6,000 to fly the woman over – a very expensive exercise,” the research paper said. The National