Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Kundiawa Hospital introduces free health care policy

THE Kundiawa General Hospital hsa introduced the Government’s free health care policy last week
The Government has made available K300,000 as subsidised funding for patients in all specialist services provided by the hospital until all funds are exhausted. 
But the government would have to provide more funding for the policy to be sustainable. 
Under the free healthcare policy, all patients pay 50 per cent of their medical fees while the government pays the other half. 
However, the boards and managers of several hospitals around the country have raised concerns that they were experiencing problems with the new policy. 
The Kundiawa General Hospital board and management yesterday thanked the government for the policy and said it was the responsibility of the management and board to implement. 
But they pointed out that its implementation has created problems within the hospital as patients from across the region flooded in thus stretching staff to the limit. 
Chief Executive Officer Mathew Kaluwia said: “Whilst accepting those patients from outside the province coming in, they are not covered by the free policy because the K300,000 is meant for the people of Chimbu. We’ve established a gateway in which only Chimbu patients benefit because the funding is limited.” 
Mr Kaluwia also highlighted the problem that hospitals need to have medical supplies on hand for patient care and any delay in the government’s funding could be fatal. 
“We hope all our medical stores will be stocked up because we don’t want to send patients home or refer them elsewhere for treatment. 
“This is a major issue that could face us because the sustainability of drug supplies and maintenance of medical equipment must be maintained.” 
He said public hospitals were expensive to run but there would be no problems for the people under the new policy if funding was sustained in a timely manner. 
Mr Kaluwia said many more lives had been saved under the new policy as all services in the rural health facilities were provided free to the local population. 

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