By Quintina Naime in Port Moresby
The Papua New Guinea National Doctors Association has congratulated the local medical team for successfully carrying out the open heart operation last week.
The team of local doctors — surgeons, physicians and anesthetists — and nurses conducted open heart surgeries on nine patients with less assistance from the usual visiting Singapore team.
They have undergone training at the National Heart Centre Singapore over several years and have been assisted by the Singapore team but are now more self-sufficient and independent.
Those trained in Singapore through Operation Open Heart include two cardiologists, one cardiac surgeon, two clinical perfusionists, six nurses and one echo technician with more expected in the future.
They are based at the Port Moresby General Hospital which is the only level seven hospital for the country.
PNGNDA president Dr James Naipao said PNG could achieve anything without hesitation.
Dr Naipao said: “The only problem in PNG is that we generally do not trust our qualified people in all facets of the workforce.
“PNG must trust its own human resource that have finished training, that are working and those in training.”
Dr Naipao was impressed with the Singapore team having trust and confidence in PNG’s local team operating on heart patients independently.
He said this sent out a signal to the hospital management, Department of Health and the government that Papua New Guinea had a team ready to independently treat heart patients.
Dr Naipao stressed that the higher authorities must now without hesitation support the cardiac team at Port Moresby General Hospital than looking at other options from within Papua New Guinea or overseas.
“These options, if in the planning, will not serve the rural majority and urban poor. PMGH must serve its function as a national referral hospital level seven for PNG.”
Dr Naipao added that patients referred to the hospital must be satisfied rather than being regretful.
Quintina Naime is a Loop PNG reporter.