K310 MILLION FOR HELA HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT
The Hela Provincial Hospital will undergo full rehabilitation at a cost of K310 million to a world-class one with 200 beds.
This proposed development is part of Marape-Basil Government’s health service delivery programme in the country.
Prime Minister, James Marape-who is local Member for Tari-Pori-said with the re-focus on health service delivery in the country, Hela provincial hospital is among five other provincial hospitals approved for immediate development.
Others will be Gulf, West New Britain, Southern Highlands, Western and Central. Once completed, these new state-of-the-art hospitals will join others currently underway in Enga and East Sepik.
The programme is part of PM Marape’s intention to build new world-class hospitals in all provinces including Bougainville over the next 10 years.
Apart from the new development, PM Marape has opened a new state-of-the-art Accident and Emergency facility for Hela hospital.
Before opening the emergency facility, the Prime Minister also led in the ground-breaking for the new provincial hospital.
The upgrade of the emergency department of the hospital is part of the return investment into the province by Oil Search and continued by Santos after the recent companies merger, and is demonstrative of the value of great public-private partnership in service delivery to the local people.
In line with his own plans in elevating the focus on health service delivery as seen in this year’s budget allocation to the health sector, Prime Minister Marape on Friday commended Oil Search and Santos for initiating and continuing the partnership which has resulted in the construction and completion of the hospital wing.
PM Marape said Hela was a new province, having only been given its provincial status, but even while it was part of Southern Highlands, the people of Hela have not received services commensurate to the level of resource developments that have taken place over the last 30 years since 1990 when the first resource was harvested.
“These people have been tolerant of us; they have been living without good services since 1990/1989 when resources were first harvested from this place,” said PM Marape.
“Sometimes I am embarrassed that we were not able to deliver what our people fully deserve. We have Hides gas, Kutubu oilfield, Moran field, Juha gas field and Angore gas fields are all within (the vicinity of) Hela.”
The Prime Minister led a team of dignitaries who flew into Hela on Friday to officiate at the joint opening and ground breaking ceremonies.
The occasion was witnessed by the management and staff of the hospital and the people of Hela. Among the official delegation was the Australian High Commissioner H.E Jon Philip, Health Minister, Jelta Wong, Hela Governor, Phillip Undialu, Chief Executive Officer of Santos Kevin Gallagher, and Executive-Director of Oil Search Foundation, Stephanie Copus-Campbell.
Mr Gallagher revealed Santos invested K8 million into the upgrade of the facility.
The new emergency wing is an eight-bed in-patient ward that comprises two resuscitation beds, three acute beds, three non-acute beds, three consultation rooms, an isolation area, and is fully-equipped – a definite upgrade from the old facility that was a 5-bed outpatient ward that catered also for emergency cases.
The new wing helps in increasing the standard in the quality of care offered to patients and sets the tempo for the new hospital development that the province is now expecting.
Hela hospital serves the entire province and information from the provincial health authority states the hospital treats up to 3000 patients a month, 300 of which are seen or admitted through the Accident & Emergency department.