By LULU MARK
WORK to install piped water supply to the Laloki Public Psychiatric Hospital outside Port Moresby will start next week.
This follows the presentation of K1 million to Eda Ranu by Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Elias Kapavore yesterday.
Kapavore said: “My department admits our failure to the hospital and we will definitely improve from here.
“Former minister Sir Puka Temu made an important commitment last month and we are here to make sure that this hospital is funded.
“The money has been given to the appropriate service provider to ensure that clean piped water is supplied to the hospital to prevent any future related issues.”
The hospital has since Feb 27, released some 100 patients early after its well water was contaminated by bacteria, causing patients and
staff to fall sick from water borne diseases.
The last of the patients were released in early April after hospital staff stopped work and closed down the facility.
It reopened on April 26, but has yet to admit patients after the Health Department, Eda Ramu and the hospital signed an agreement for piped water supply.
Kapavore said it was important for all health facilities to have water supply.
Without it, the hospital’s operations would cease and a state of emergency would be declared immediately.
The hospital had been using well water for the last 19 years until an outbreak of Hepatitis A, a waterborne faecal disease, broke out in February.
“That reflected the health department’s negligence.
“We did not do enough to ensure that the hospital had clean water supply,” Kapavore said.
“We now need to get the facility up and running, and functioning smoothly.
“The department will follow up and would like Eda Ranu to keep it in the loop in all stages of the project. Reporting and communication between the hospital and the department on operations will also be enhanced to ensure efficiency,” he added.
Clinical nursing supervisor Jeffery Alphonse said due to the dilapidated condition of the wards, only about 20 patients could be admitted in the coming weeks, until maintenance and repair work were completed.
“We would not have come this far without the support of the media,”he said.
“Our voices have been heard.”