PNG DataCo, as part of the national transmission network (NTN), has built the Highlands fibre network connecting Lae and Madang to Wabag and Mendi through Goroka, Kundiawa, Kudjip and Mt Hagen.
Since its completion, the Highlands fibre has been used by retail service providers. The first government entity to use this cable is the Kundiawa General Hospital (KGH).
The KGH is a level 6 referral hospital that provides health services in Chimbu Province and for the neighbouring Highlands provinces.
The hospital requires high speed and reliable internet connectivity to be able to provide telemedicine services for the benefit of its patients.
The partnership between PNG DataCo and KGH is to enable the hospital to transmit 3D high definition tele-radiology imaging over the high speed network provided by DataCo connecting to overseas medical consultants for patient diagnosis.
The resident doctors at the hospital can have unlimited access to medical journals and research materials online to update skills and improve efficiency in the management of and patient treatment.
Une O’Ome, general manager commercial for DataCo congratulated KGH for being the first hospital to connect under the DataCo’s CSR health initiative package. He also assured KGH of DataCo’s ongoing support to ensure that the hospital enjoys affordable, reliable and fast internet for the benefit of the province and the region.
He added that the country stands to gain through the PNG government investment in the NTN program.
The hospital management were elated at how technology partners like DataCo could provide a solution that could meet their communication needs.
Access to this service will improving efficiency for the hospital and more importantly save lives through the telemedicine consultations and diagnosis.
CEO of Kundiawa General Hospital, Dr Harry Poka, commended DataCo for engaging and partnering with the hospital. He remarked, “With this high reliable internet link, telemedicine is possible.”
The hospital CT and MRI scan imaging can now be sent to Egypt in the speed of light for diagnosis and treatment. He said: “Technology is actually saving lives”
John Tonar, director for the medical division also revealed the hospital forward plans to be a referral, research and teaching hospital.
Also in the plan was for KGH to be a cancer treatment centre as well, which would require huge transmission of body specimens and images for expert consultation and diagnosis overseas.
The high capacity link from DataCo would also be utilised for the planned growth of the hospital’s suite of services in administering patient care.
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