Although Maprik general hospital is yet to see a full re-construction, one of its main wards is under maintenance after being condemned for almost three months.
Maprik MP John Simon has committed at least K50,000 for the renovation of that ward.
The Maprik hospital outpatient ward was closed down after the ablution block was condemned and ruled unfit for use.
Patients coming in from all over Maprik and even from neighbouring districts like Yangoru-Saussia and Ambunti-Drekikir have to sleep outside along the walkways as there were no available spaces.
This issue was brought to light during one of Mr Simon’s routine visits to the hospital where he found a mother and her sick child, who travelled about three hours to get to the hospital, could not return as the child was due for a repeat injection and observation at 11pm that night.
The MP found out that this had been happening for quite some time, patients who came in from afar had to remain at the hospital because they had no choice but to hang around the corridors or any other available spaces until they were treated.
“I saw some of the patients outside the wards late in the afternoon – after engaging in a conversation with a mother who brought her sick child to the hospital. I found out that they would sleep outside due to the ward being closed, waiting for the repeat injection at 11pm,” he said.
Mr Simon said he was shocked by this revelation and he enquired as to why the hospital had not acted quickly in making this issue known to the appropriate authority, noting that this is the well-being of the people.
“I called the program manager and found out that the ward had been closed for almost four months,” he said.
The MP personally went to the hardware shop and ordered new paints and other necessary basic appliances.
The maintenance has already started with volunteers from the town including players from the Maprik rugby clubs led by Bradley Simon, head of Maprik Rugby league, working around the clock.
The maintenance should be completed by the end of this week.
This renovation funding will come out of the K5 million funding that was recently presented by the Health Minister.
Meantime, work is still underway for the reconstruction of the general hospital which will cost close to K60 million.
The hospital reconstruction is taking a very long time due many issues.
One of the major issues is the inappropriateness of the first scope that was done. Following the scoping work, the contractors found out that the base of the new construction site was water logged, and their progress cut-short as they had to redesign and come up with a new strategy.
However, despite this setback, Mr Simon said he has been assured by the contractors that the first phase of the building should be completed by the end of December.
He is also calling on the government to consider including the funding of the hospital in the 2019 Budget.
He said Maprik hospital does not serve the Maprik district alone, it also serves patients coming in from the nearby districts.
“This should be taken into consideration,” he said.
Mr Simon said although he is grateful for some of the funding that has been injected into health, he said there is still much more needed to fully realise the extent of reconstruction and operation of the general hospital.