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Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher, Governor Hela Province Philip Undialu and Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten in traditional head dress.

Accident and emergency health services at the Hela Provincial Hospital have been boosted with PGK 1 million funding from the Hela Provincial Government and a further PGK 8 million from Santos Limited, Oil Search Foundation, and a personal donation from Peter Botten, Hela PHA Chair and Oil Search Managing Director. The Australian government is also supporting an upgrade to the hospital’s electricity.

Mr Botten welcomed the support 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 eighteen months on we are continually pushing ourselves to achieve more, 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”
- Peter Botten Oil Search Managing Director

The Oil Search Foundation, who is managing the project, has entered into an agreement with Rhodes Engineering to build the new facility which is expected to open in early 2020 at a total cost of around PGK 9 million kina. It will provide a 24-hour service for the initial treatment of a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries in both adults and children.

Key areas of the facility include a triage area to assess patients according to their needs. It will also include resuscitation bays for the critically ill or injured, acute bays for patients not requiring resuscitation, non-acute bays for patients who require close monitoring after resuscitation or treatment, a procedure room, a plaster room for fracture stabilization and an isolation room for the management of infectious diseases or privacy for survivors of domestic or sexual violence.

Mr Botten was delighted with Governor Phililp Undialu and the Provincial Government’s support and praised them for their commitment to improving health. ‘On behalf of the Board we are deeply appreciative of the support we are receiving from the Governor and his team. I also thank them for their plan to provide incentives to Health professionals to work in Hela. “Infrastructure is necessary, but it’s no good to anyone if there are no doctors or nurses to provide services” he said.