BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
LEADER of Opposition, Matthew Wale is worried about the state of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) describing it as an institution desperate on a number of fronts.
In his speech on the 2021 Appropriation Bill in parliament on Friday, Wale said the infrastructure is so dilapidated making it a very challenging workplace.
He said the hospital corporate governance is chained to public service processes and procedures that are inefficient, unresponsive and are probably not appropriate for a peak hospital dealing with people’s health, life and death.
“Its clinical governance is in a perilous state, long neglected.”
“This situation is totally unacceptable and has become untenable,” he added.
“NRH needs a total transformation, and this need is both desperate and urgent, not for the pacific games, but for our people and the health professionals that work at the NRH,” said Wale.
Wale said it is blatantly obvious that the NRH needs an independent board to manage it at an arm’s length from the ministry.
He also adds that the budget must still be fully funded by government, but an independent Board should have responsibility for its own planning, development, governance, staffing, and performance.
He said the Hospital equipment budget needs to be adequately funded. NRH must now have equipment for dialysis treatment. 20% of deaths at the NRH are due to kidney failure.
“This is a significant percentage, and government must take action. It is good policy to tax plastics, sugar and soft drinks.
“I suggest that government add salt to that list”, he said.
Hon Wale further urged the government to ring fence the revenue collected from these taxes, and from alcohol and tobacco for health expenditure directed at the NCD crisis, and the need for appropriate equipment at our hospitals, especially the NRH.
“Ringfencing this revenue to health would also enable funding and the long-delayed roll out of the role-delineation policy to commence,” he said.