Official commends Australian doctors


TWO Australian paediatric surgeons, who have been regularly visiting PNG over the last 20 years, have been recognised for their efforts in contributing to the development and establishment of paediatric surgical and anaesthetic services in the country.
Paediatric liver transplant surgeon Prof Albert Shun and paediatric surgeon and anaesthetist Prof Michael Cooper have used their time to conduct training and mentoring of local paediatric surgeons and trainees.
Southern region deputy chief surgeon Dr Hoxson Poki, while acknowledging the efforts of the two Sydney-based surgeons, said Shun and Cooper’s contributions to paediatric surgery and anaesthesias in the country was invaluable and had benefited local surgeons as well as the people, especially children.
Poki said more visits by the surgeons were still needed to help with more complex and rare operations such as the two liver cases involving infant patients that had been successfully treated for the first time in PNG.
“Professors Shun and Cooper have mentored, trained and taught and have been an inspiration in the training of paediatric surgeons in PNG over the last 20 years,” he said.
“Four paediatric surgeons have been trained and are working with this programme and three more surgeons are undergoing training.”
Poki said there was a need to train more specialists including paediatric surgeons, paediatric anaesthetists, nurses and neonatal intensive care unit workers in almost all the major hospitals in the country, therefore, continuous support from international partners and others was needed. We hope that the Government through the National Department of Health will continue to support us with funding by providing full time scholarship for our doctors in accredited overseas hospitals,” he said.