AUSTRALIAN Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced plans to completely re-build the failing Angau Memorial General Hospital in Lae.
At a brief press conference yester-day, the Australian minister revealed what will be one of PNG’s most significant development proj-ects, costing a total of $A500 million (K1.13 billion). The re-development will be jointly funded by Australia and PNG. Australia’s commitment of $A250 million (around K600 million) will be matched by the PNG Government.
Ms Bishop was in Lae yesterday to visit the hospital and meet the board, and she witnessed first-hand its poor condition and declining facilities.
She said Angau was given as a gift to PNG in 1964 but it is now way past its use by date – which comes as a result of neglect and chronic underinvestment from successive governments.
A media statement from the Australian High Commission said $A207 million will go towards the re-development itself, which includes drawing up a master plan, covering 50 per cent of the work costs and installing new equipment.
The remainder will go towards the training of doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
"We want the plan to be methodical and sustainable and built to world class standards," Ms Bishop said.
Angau has been in and out of the news recently after the hospital board proposed its own master plan for modernisation, costing up to K1 billion.