Insurer aids ambulance firm

Health Watch, Normal

The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013

 THE owner of a recently-established private ambulance service in Port Moresby has urged corporate bodies to support its operation.

Dr Lautofa Pulotu (pictured), the founder of the Emergency Medical Services PNG, was responding to a K100,000 sponsorship by the Pacific Assurance Group to cover the fleet of ambulances.

Earlier this year Pulotu and his wife Lydia McCarthy set up the country’s first private ambulance service for residents in Port Moresby. 

Last month, they enlisted major health insurance provider and PNG-owned Pacific Assurance Group as a sponsorship partner.

The ambulances are the most modern-equipped in the country.

Pulotu said the country’s healthcare services in the public sector had struggled over the years to meet the needs of the people. This is why private sector operators must maintain successful operations in PNG.

“Pre-hospital care emergency medical services have been non-existent in PNG for many years,” he said.

“The Government is finding it a challenge to meet some of their health delivery commitments and understandably is looking for opportunities to partner with private sector operators to ensure the general public can access good quality healthcare services.

“This lessens the burden on Government and provides opportunities for the private sector to operate in the health sector and contribute positively to the PNG economy.

“We operate four fully-fitted ambulances. And having insurance companies like Pacific Assurance Group come on board as sponsors or partners in this initiative will assist in keeping this service going.”

He said they planned to secure six further ambulances before the end of the year to cater for the forecast growth in membership.

“The public, expats and citizens alike, now have access to professional pre-hospital care emergency medical services,” he said.  

“This has been a major concern in the health sector in PNG despite St Johns Ambulance operating in country, largely due to resource constraints.”

Pulotu said the insurer had committed to paying the full corporate rate of per call out should one of its insured members require an ambulance.