Mola: PMC will destroy public health sector
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE proposed Pacific Medical Centre (PMC) is a private, political initiative that will do more harm to the public health sector then meet the health needs of Papua New Guineans as proclaimed by its supporters.
Head of reproductive health, obstetrics and gynecology at the UPNG school of medicine and health sciences, Prof Glen Mola, highlighted this when presenting a report titled New super hospital might jeopardise PNG hospital sector at the National Research Institute yesterday.
His report said potential donors, including the Clinton Foundation and Seventh-Day Adventist institutions in the United States and development partners in PNG, had refused to support the PMC.
The discussion on the PMC attracted a good number of representatives from various sectors including the public.
Mola outlined various issues relating to how the whole project was initiated through discussions in America by PNG’s ambassador Evan Paki with certain interested groups to Health Minister Sasa Zibe’s involvement, the inclusion of PMC into the national health plan and, more importantly, the source of funding for the whole project.
He argued that the diversion of scarce health funds to the PMC could lead to the complete collapse of the struggling PNG hospital sector and a massive deterioration in health care for ordinary Papua New Guineans.
“The history of PMC is obscure and all of us are struggling to know where this is coming from, there’s a lot of mystery in it,” he said, adding that he was concerned that the American groups that were planning to build the PMC were working through politicians and not through the PNG health planning process.
He said he had met with the representatives who visited PNG last April and discussed how best to improve the current health system to the point of taking them on a tour of the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH).
“Why are politicians so stridently in support of this project?
“When we plan, we plan health facilities for the people, we do not plan for the doctors,” Mola said.
Among the report’s main points were that PMC would:
- Not be built with donor money but by PNG health budget;
- Not be able to perform specialist services;
- Look after rich people with similar medical conditions that are treated at the PMGH;
- Not be self-sustainable but rely on government to heavily subsidise running costs; and
- Not be useful for training of local health workers at health centres and hospitals.