THE National Referral Hospital (NRH) is yet to get the attention it deserves from the national government.
This is despite the importance it holds in the nation’s health sector.
We have some of the region’s best doctors working there. We also have a highly committed team of nurses serving the hospital.
But their work to attend to the sick and save lives is being constraint by the lack of medical resources at the hospital.
This week we’ve been told a vital chemical substance medical technologists need to do their tests at the laboratory has run out since May.
Called Regent, the chemical is required to do kidney function tests.
But for the last four months, no tests were being done due to the unavailability of this chemical substance.
This means doctors and other medical staff would not be able to carry out their jobs as well.
Like the laboratory technologists, doctors need the test results in order to diagnose their patients correctly.
The lack of this Regent chemical is just one issue at the hospital.
There are many other pressing matters that have not been addressed for many years.
Shortage of beds and basic medical supplies has been a long-time issue.
Inconsistencies in maintaining hospital facilities have resulted in the debilitating state of the hospital’s facilities.
In 2013 after numerous complaints about the poor service delivery at the National Referral Hospital, a Parliamentary Select Committee conducted a public inquiry into the matter.
Many people, including hospital executives and doctors, appeared before the committee and clearly spelled out why services at the hospital are not up to standard.
A detailed report outlining the problems and how to address them was produced.
Since then we have not heard of the report again or whether the government is taking steps to act on its recommendations.
That just shows sheer neglect on the part of the government.
Perhaps the politicians don’t care because they and their families don’t normally get treatment at the National Referral Hospital.
They travelled instead to Australia and other Pacific nations to receive treatment from advanced medical services in those countries.
But they need to know this.
The National Referral Hospital is the nation’s top health facility that serves the entire population.
It deserves undivided government attention when it comes to funding and other logistical support.
The Government’s lukewarm attitude towards the hospital is at best unbelievable and at worst provocative.
While Cabinet was quick to channel public funds to MPs and cronies, it found it difficult to do the same to the National Referral Hospital when its needs arise.
Where is the government’s priority placed?