Short/Long Term Missions

Doctors

Background
There are an average of only 7 doctors per 100,000 population in Papua New Guinea, which is easily the lowest ratio in the Pacific Region and less than 25% of the average for all of the Least Developed Countries worldwide. The situation is, of course, at its worst in the most isolated areas, where the highest levels of sickness are most likely to occur. One of the reasons for this is that there are far too few doctors trained in PNG to meet its needs and the majority of those who are trained are attracted to work in the urban hospitals.

We will, therefore, be dependent on the recruitment of overseas doctors for the foreseeable future. We employ doctors at our three rural hospitals:-

child health worker
  • St Barnabas Rural Hospital in Dogura, Milne Bay Province, which is in a beautiful coastal location accessible by a weekly light aircraft or by a 3 hour dinghy journey from Alotau, the provincial capital. There is a daily flight from Port Moresby to Alotau.
  • St Margaret's Rural Hospital which overlooks Oro Bay in Oro Province. It can be reached by a 45 minute road journey from Popondetta, the provincial capital. There is a daily flight from Port Moresby to Popondetta and an overnight sea vessel from Lae to Oro Bay, which travels weekly.
  • St John's Rural Hospital at Koinambe, which can be reached by a 5-6 hour drive along a rugged mountain pass from Mt Hagen, the capital of Western Highlands Province. There is also a weekly flight by light aircraft.
At regular intervals, we have vacancies for doctors, as contracts of the incumbents expire. The main duties are as follows:-

  • Diagnosing and treating outpatients and inpatients
  • Conducting antenatal and well baby clinics
  • Conducting deliveries
  • Visiting other AHS facilities to see patients
  • Carrying out patrols to surrounding clinic points
  • Taking clinical leadership in the diocese and advising the Health Secretary on clinical needs and planning issues
  • Teaching health workers and developing their skills to diagnose, treat and refer patients in the absence of the doctor
  • Religious Affiliation
As all of our communities are Christian, only Christians are accepted. You would be expected to attend the local Anglican church whilst on the station and on patrol. You should at all times conduct yourself in accordance with Christian principles.

Remember that you will always be on show and are never off duty!

Security Risks
Some expatriates make much of security risks in PNG. Sadly the incidents, which do occur are greatly exaggerated by the Australian media, causing visitors to gain a greatly distorted view of the risks. We have lived in PNG for over 8 years and would make the following observations:-

  1. The further away you travel from the main centres, particularly Port Moresby and Lae, the lower the risk. People in rural areas are very trustworthy and protective to visitors.
  2. It is unwise to walk around urban areas after dark, but to keep it in perspective, it is no worse than parts of Sydney or Birmingham. On the other hand we believe you are completely safe in villages.
Malaria
Malaria is endemic in PNG. You must, therefore:-

a) Protect yourself at night. We will supply you with a treated mosquito net to sleep under.
b) If you have to go out after dusk or early in the morning use an a insect repellent spray or lotion to protect exposed skin.
c) Take anti-malarial medication.

The recommended medication is:-

  • Chloroquine 300mgm weekly, and
  • Paludrine (Proguanil) 200mgm taken daily together with meals
Halofantrine (Halfan) and Mefloquine are strongly not recommended.

Further Information and Application
Check the AHS Health Strategy pdf file for more in-depth information concerning AHS.

Contact us by fax: 675 3279 889 or e-mail: ahspop@global.net.pg

If you reside in the UK you may wish to contact Chris Luxton at the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership (PNGCP) for further information and advice. You should send your application 6 months before you intend to take up post as the registration process with the Medical Board in PNG can be lengthy.

You should initially send the following documents:-

1. Completed Application Form
2. Your CV

These should be addressed to:-

The National Health Secretary
Anglican Health Service
National Headquarters
PO Box 245
POPONDETTA OP
Papua New Guinea


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This web-site was last updated on the 20th of Nov. 2004