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By Lindy Suharupa

A total of 1281 patients have successfully undergone open heart operations in the country since its inception in 1993.

This was revealed today by Chief Cardiac Surgeon during an update of the operations at the Kumul Petroleum National Heart Centre.

Papua New Guinean doctors and nurses can now perform open heart surgeries at the Port Moresby General Hospital

This was revealed today by the hospital’s CEO Dr Paki Molumi and his team of local specialist doctors.

Just last week, a total of five open heart operations were done with patients steadily recovering.

This recent operation, according to the Coordinator of the Surgical Department Dr Noah Tapaua, was primarily carried out by Papua New Guinean doctors and nurses, assisted by a 5 member expert team who left the country last week.

“The Open Heart International (OHI) Team that left last week was the smallest, compared to previous years.

“We (local specialist doctors) did the operations ourselves, they (OHI) only assisted,” said Dr Tapaua.

In previous years, OHI team conducted the whole procedure from screening a patient right through to operation and post operation however, that has changed with funding support of Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL)

Port Moresby General Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Paki Molumi said, “previously the visits from OHI team were focused on providing service, meaning we bring a lot of medical doctors and nurses into the country.

“They do the screening for us; they do post-operative care and perform operations for us.

“When the patients are well and discharged, they (OHI) leave the country.”

A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the hospital, the National Department of Health and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) to establish a comprehensive cardiac program in the county with funding support of K50 million spread over years commencing in 2020.

The Managing Director of KPHL gave full credit to the local doctors and nurses and staff of the country’s premiere hospital and gave assurance of KPHL’s continued support.

“I am very pleased. I want to thank everyone for your efforts.

“In the near future, we will commit the remaining funds and balance of the K50 million and we will work on the Human Resource development in the heart centre,” said Mr Sonk.

The KPHL funding further encapsulates the purchase of equipment to support the cardiac service program.

These equipments include anaesthetic machines, bypass heart-lung machines, operative heart monitoring machines, infusion pumps and syringes pumps.

Now with funding support from KPHL, the hospital’s surgical department is well equipped with modern high quality cardiac equipment with over 2000 patients being served at the Kumul Petroleum National Heart centre.

This will now help alienate Papua New Guineans seeking medical treatment from travelling overseas at extreme costs.   

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