by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
The USNS Mercy, dubbed as the floating hospital, is currently visiting Papua New Guinea.
The Mercy is visiting PNG in accordance with the Pacific Partnership, which aims to deliver much needed health services to the people of the Pacific.
The massive floating structure made its second mission stop in Rabaul, following time spent last week in Buka. It then leaves for Philippines on Thursday.
For many who see USNS Mercy for the first time, it is another ordinary vessel.
But it is more than just a vessel. It is a floating hospital.
It has capacity to hold up to 1,000 patients at any given time, houses 11 operating theatres and four x-ray rooms.
On Sunday, when it arrived in the East New Britain Province, from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, it brought with it confidence to the Rabaul people.
At the launching of the mission visit yesterday, Mercy received a standing ovation from the East New Britain provincial government.
But Mercy didn’t bring only a team of medical specialists, it also brought with it other members from various professions, civil engineers, an aviation team and also a fleet band.
This will be the third time the USNS Mercy has visited our shores.
Some of the medical services that are being provided both on board and off the medical ship can’t be accessed anywhere else in the country.
And for the crew members of the USNS mercy, it is an honour to fill this void they say.