Monday, October 22, 2012

Cost of getting to the hospital

I met a man today who lives on the far side of the Jimi Valley.  To get here he has to get in an airplane which cost 240K each way – about $250 round trip to come and go.  Many of our patients live right nearby, but many others actually travel quite a distance to come. 

Some walk a day or two, others, like this man, take a plane, but still others travel via car on a PMV (public motor vehicles).  PMVs are the main source of transportation for all in PNG.  They typically are 15 seater vans that they squeeze about 20 people in.  Sometimes they are open bed trucks with guys standing up in the back.  I recently asked some folks how much they spend to get here and this is what they said. 

         Mendi 25 Kina
         Wapanemunda 10 Kina
         Donna 8 Kina
         Aviamp 1 Kina
         Banz 1 Kina
         Minj 2 Kina
         Lae 70 Kina
         Hagen 4 Kina
         Pangia 19 Kina
         Middle Jimi 20 Kina
         Tari 69 Kina
         Goroka 30 Kina
         Baiyer 15 Kina

Divide by 2 to get the approx US dollar amt.  It was quite amazing to me to think how much patients are spending to get to us.  Some do it every month, as they have a chronic condition, others come just once or twice, but it is still quite a bit of money for many of them to spend.