The Pacific international Hospital’s “No Cash, No Treatment” policy has resulted in yet another death – this time of a 10 year old boy.
Kua Dom, was rushed to the private hospital by his mother on the 3rd of January following severe stomach pains but staff at the hospital refused to treat the boy because the money his mother had on hand at the time of the emergency was insufficient.
Kua’s father, Steven Dom, a senior army officer who was away on duty travel in Wewak gave assurances that he would pay the hospital bills later that day but even that arrangement was not satisfactory.
Albert Tagua, a close family friend said on Facebook: “The father desperately tried to remit some money into his wife’s account but due to the long weekend and long cue at the banks, the transaction went through after lunch.”
|Pacific International Hospital, Port Moresby|
By then young Kua’s condition had worsened. He was coughing blood but still wasn’t enough to convince PIH staff that the boy desperately needed help. Kua was then rushed to Port Moresby General Hospital and died in the afternoon.
Just three days earlier, on new year’s eve, Philomena Eileen Ore, nearly lost her three week-old baby at the PIH when she too was refused treatment. It wasn’t because she didn’t have the money. She simply couldn’t pay her daughter’s bill upfront using the hospital’s EFTPOS due to a systems failure.
“I had no cash and I was going to use the card but the system was down,” she said.
“Even though I gave them assurances that my family would go to the ATM and return with the cash while my baby was attended to, the [the staff] couldn’t be bothered.”
There are numerous cases that have come to the fore in the last three years. In 2010, the PNG exposed blog saw more than 50 responses to article by a Dr. Joshita Amai, which highlighted cases where patients had not been treated fairly.
One of the commentators posted on the blog saying: “I saw a patient die there one afternoon… they wouldn’t resuscitate the patient because he needed to pay a K500.00 kina deposit first. The relatives… brought back the money to no avail. The poor man passed away while they went to get money...”
In a scathing but rather obvious revelation, Dr. Amai said the policy of the hospital is to make as much profits as possible and that they operate as a 24 hour hospital
“Twenty-four-hour service demands a significant number of medical doctors and nurses.”
Those who work at the hospital have also revealed that PIH doctors are sometimes asked not to announce the deaths of intensive care unit (ICU) patients for a few days so the hospital can make significant profits of K6000 a night from keeping that dead body.
Dr. Amai went further to say that because PIH is a hospital with bad reputation, not many doctors want to work there. She also revealed that the management recruits foreign doctors who are under-qualified or unable to practice in their countries of origin for one reason or another.