Kompiam Heath Service

David Gilchrist finds out how the Covid-19 pandemic, tribal violence, and the demands of doctor and nursing education impact on the continued development of Kompiam District Hospital in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands. Yet, the remote PNG hospital grows despite violence and education problems together with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kompiam District of the Enga Province, in the north most region of the highlands of PNG is home to more than 55 thousand Highlanders cared for by the district health service that includes Kompiam District Hospital and ten remote health centres. Now, three factors have the potential to derail almost 20 years of service development.

Medical Care Matters Podcast
Kompiam development expands health service

Kompiam District Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr David Mills says the financial impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic has put at risk a service that around 20 years of planning and continual development has built. The impact has hit at a time when the hospital and health service development is nearing completion.

When Medical Care Matters first spoke to David Mills in August last year, the hospital had 55 beds, a laboratory, a couple of operating theatres, and x-ray facilities and Dr Mills said he was looking forward to “expanding our clinical footprint,” to face what he saw as a “mountain of morbidity” in the highland Kompiam District community.

David Mills says the current development will see the hospital become an 80-bed facility and build adjacent to the Hospital a medical training facility for the Papua New Guinea University.

The PNGU facility allow 8 medical students to spend a year in Kompiam as part of their training in the rural and remote setting and potentially allow the hospital to increase its number of doctors from 3 to 5. This development will also include new housing and student accommodation.

The hospital’s continuing development saw PNG National Department of Health reclassify it as a level 4 health service providing funding for up to another 150 staff.

Dr Mills said that building the accommodation and housing for the extra staff “will be work of some years, going into the future.”

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