As the population keeps growing and with only one ambulance funded to be on the road at any time, the number of people waiting to get help is always high in Morobe Province.
The duty operations commanding officer and his team at the National Ambulance Operations Centre in Port Moresby monitor the situation with the patients through the callers and prioritize the pending cases.
When one person is getting helped by the ambulance, sometimes two or three people call for help and wait for an ambulance.
The high number of people waiting for the ambulance cases every day and night in Lae is a serious concern as the longer it takes for an ambulance to get to the patients, these means that patients are more likely to suffer complications or even lose their lives.
It is crucial to have enough ambulances available to ensure that people in Lae have access to timely and efficient emergency medical services.
St John’s Momase regional commander Anderson Poumb says there are three ambulances in Lae but there is no funding from the Morobe Provincial Government to staff these.
Instead, the Lae City Authority engages St John directly to operate one ambulance for Lae City but calls from other Morobe districts come in every hour of every day.
Currently, there are eight full-time professional ambulance staff and a senior registered nurse at the Lae Ambulance Station.
Recruiting more trained personnel, St John can significantly reduce the time people are waiting for an ambulance and more lives can be saved.
St John has a plan ready to train more people from the Morobe community to be ambulance officers and will be ready to roll if the Morobe Provincial Administration can help fund these additional staff and operating costs.
PNG HAUSBUNG understands the National Government provides co-funding to St John to help with national-level operations, however, provincial-level operations need funding directly from the provincial administration to the St John unit.