THE OPENING of the new Pacific International Hospital facility in Port Moresby was celebrated on 13 February by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, with the facility expected to open to the public in March.

The Pacific International Hospital’s chief executive Dr Amyna Sultan made a speech at the opening ceremony, welcoming guests and explaining what the facility has to offer the Papua New Guinean community.

“This is the first international standard hospital facility of its kind in Papua New Guinea, and equipped with sophisticated cardiac, neuro and minimal invasive surgery capabilities,” Dr Sultan said.

Originally planned 17 years ago, the hospital is a public private partnership venture with the International Public Business Corporation, and it provides 79 beds, an emergency centre and has speciality facilities including cardiology, oncology, neurosciences, advanced orthopaedics and urology.

The Pacific International Hospital has introduced the first MRI service in Papua New Guinea and some of the other services provided are digital X-ray, 3D ultrasound, mammography and a neonatal ICU facility.

Dr Sultan said she hopes the facility will encourage skill transfer to PNG.

“By bringing highly qualified professionals with clinical experience and advanced knowledge of hospital systems and operations, through their offering of key educational programs and onsite training, more of our nationals will be able to transition towards higher expertise roles, growing professionally themselves alongside the growth of the hospital,” Dr Sultan said.

“As a private eye surgeon specialising in corneal and cataract surgery, I have painfully experienced the plight of many near-blind patients who are unable to go overseas and who require retinal surgery not available in PNG.”

“It is such instances which have helped us look ahead and plan for new specialties for first-time introduction to PNG,” Dr Sultan said.