Funding helps hospital build emergency unit


Accident and emergency services at the Hela Provincial Hospital has been boosted by a US$1 million (about K3.12 million) funding from Santos Ltd and US$700,000 from Oil Search Foundation.
The money has been provided to the Hela Provincial Health Authority (PHA).
A ground-breaking ceremony in Tari yesterday marked the construction of a high-priority Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department for the hospital.
Santos managing director and chief executive Kevin Gallagher said helping fund the hospital’s A&E Department underscored the company’s commitment to invest in PNG.
“Santos has been investing in PNG since the 1980s and it’s an important growth region for our future,” Gallagher said. “We’re proud to work with our valued partner Oil Search to develop critical infrastructure for the communities of the Hela region.
“It’s great to be part of an initiative that will save lives in the communities where we operate and give the people of Hela greatly improved emergency health services.”
Hela health authority chairman and Oil Search managing director Peter Botten welcomed the support from Santos, saying it was “always a privilege to be working with partners who shared similar development visions for the people of Hela and Papua New Guinea.”
Currently the hospital does not have a facility that can manage the acute care of emergency patients.
“When the Hela PHA board was appointed in November 2015, we made a commitment to make this hospital one of the best in PNG.
“I’m proud to say that 18 months on we are continually pushing ourselves to achieve more,” Botten said.
“And we’ve been able to do this because we have a hardworking board, staff and management team and we also have strong partnerships that can help us achieve our vision.”
Finance Minister and Tari-Pori James Marape, Governor Philip Undialu, Koroba- Lake Kopiago MP and Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas and Health and HIV Minister Sir Puka Temu witnessed the occasion.
All three local MPs pledged their support to continue the working partnership to help the Hela PHA achieve its vision for the province.
The new A&E facility is expected to begin operations by mid-next year on a 24-hour basis.