THE National Referral Hospital (NRH) this week announced one of the new measures it is implementing as part of efforts to cut costs.
It will no longer feed guardians looking after sick patients admitted at the hospital.
NRH’s chief executive officer Dr Steve Aumanu said this practise will cease as of Friday next week.
From then on, the hospital will only be responsible for feeding patients admitted at the hospital.
The case however, will be different for provincial referral inpatients.
Anyone accompanying a patient referred to the NRH from the provinces will be fed by the hospital.
Dr Aumanu said the new measure was aimed at addressing expenditure, increased savings, and improved nutrition for patients.
He stated that the hospital’s budget for ration has doubled between 2011 and 2015 from $1.5 million to $3 million.
Furthermore, Dr Aumanu said expenditure for ration has gone over budget every year for rations, reaching a peak of $3.6 million in 2013.
Good to see the NRH’s management coming up with measures like this to cut down on its expenditure.
In fact the hospital has no obligation to feed guardians looking after sick patients at the hospital.
What it had been doing over the years was done out of goodwill for our people.
The hospital’s responsibility and duty of care is to the patient.
And it has been fulfilling that role over the years despite its shortcomings.
Furthermore, no patient or guardian every goes hungry at the hospital.
That’s the beauty of our wantok system and the closely-knitted community we live.
Those being admitted at the hospital always have their relatives by their sides to provide moral support as well feed them.
So the measure taken by the hospital management will not have any negative impacts on patient admittance.
It will instead enable the hospital to save money that can be used to improve the condition of the NRH.
Security is an area the NRH needs to invest in to ensure hospital staff work without fear and in a safer environment.