BY NATALIE CHOLOHEI
MOROBE Province has been selected to trial a new Health Department patient referral system.
Manager for curative standards and audit from the department, Dr Maru Garo said having chosen Morobe to trial the program was because of the major redevelopment at Angau Memorial Hospital and that the hospital receives many referral cases in the region.
District and rural health workers have gone through workshop early this year to up-skill themselves for the implementation of the project since February this year.
Several doctors and nursing officers at Angau Memorial Hospital were taken through the guideline on Wednesday this week to effectively work with initiating health facilities referring patients to the hospital for further medical observation.
Dr Garo said health facilities have been doing patient referrals but it was not done properly and in line with the standard health policy of Health Department, they wanted a more formal and structured referral system so that patients can be attended to at the earliest convenience.
“The referral guideline is designed to assist the planning and coordination of patient care between different levels of health care services from Level 1 aid posts, level 2-3 rural health facilities/urban health services, level four rural hospitals and level five to six Angau regional referral hospital,” Dr Garo said.
Currently, there are no formal patient referral guidelines processes that exist in the country and patients referrals have not been effectively planned, coordinated and managed since then.
“Implementing the patient referral guideline will promote a professional and ethical approach to patient management, cost effective use of scarce health service resources and strengthen the lines of communication between clinicians at each level of care,” Dr Garo said.
The Australian government is funding most of the patient referral but everyone is urged to work together to implement the referral guideline which is far more important for rural hospitals.
Hela Provincial Health Authority has invited the project to be rolled out in the province as well.