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19 August 2016

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Yes, I was there in April, and that photo is current. The only improvement in recent years is the new TB ward in a separate building, which is OK but not enough beds.

Most heartening to see this announcement, hospital facilities at PNG's southwest that might mirror capacity of the hospital at Thursday Island and provision for staff to be accomodated with due dignity.

Australia should offer to establish, staff and maintain a hospital at Daru to the same standard as the medical services in Australia. This would stop the need for PNG patients to cross the border into the Torres Strait and prevent the introduction of serious diseases into Australia. This would be practical AusAid assistance instead of wasting millions on useless projects.

If that photograph is current it doesn't look much different than 1970.

I seem to recall that in the early 2000's, the Ok Tedi Company through the government's Tax Credit Scheme spent a heap (can't remember how much) on re-furbishing the hospital which was run down then despite the Fly River Provincial Government receiving heaps of money, indirectly from the OK Tedi project. Once again, the reason for the hospital's and its patients' predicament is a Provincial Government that gives the hospital and the service it provides a low priority - like paying heaps of money to retain private law firms for questionable purposes - the reason why the former Governor and Administrator are awaiting sentencing on defalcation charges.
Whilst I can see the logic in AusAID being used to alleviate the situation - it will perhaps stop the movement of Western Province people seeking medical attention in the Torres Strait under the Border Provisions - if AusAID does fund the renovations, what sort of message is this sending up and coming administrators and politicians in the Western Province and elsewhere?

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