PEOPLE will now have another hospital to go to if they suffer from cancer, and that will be at Kundiawa General Hospital in Chimbu Province.
This follows the announcement on Monday by Health Minister Michael Malabag on the hospital being elevated from a level five hospital to level six.
"I am now declaring on March 20, 2017, that Kundiawa General Hospital is a level six hospital," Mr Malabag said.
"A level six hospital specialises in treatment of cancer, MDRTB (multi-drug resistant tuberculosis) and orthopedics (involving bones and muscles)."
Mr Malabag said he was impressed that this hospital has been quietly providing quality healthcare, not only to the people of Chimbu but the Highlands region and even other coastal provinces for many years.
He congratulated the hospital board and the staff for this achievement and said Health was fully aware of the hospital’s work in MDRTB and orthopedic – especially being the first hospital to do hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Mr Malabag said the announcement to become a specialist centre for cancer is in line with his department’s policy.
"I encourage the board and the hospital management to place the relevant plans in consultation with the Health Department to develop the capacity of the hospital to deal with cancer not only in the highlands region but right throughout Papua New Guinea," Mr Malabag said.
He said this should be consistent with the 2015 Cancer Treatment Policy No 3, to do with satellite cancer treatment centres and clinics.
Mr Malabag also paid special tribute to the Chimbu provincial government for all its support to the hospital.
"I’ve heard from all the speakers acknowledging your support to the hospital, Governor Kool, and I am grateful to you for that leadership," Mr Malabag said.
Hospital acting chief executive officer Dr Harry Poka said in anticipation of the announcements made by the minister, the board of the hospital has already allocated funds to buy an MRI and CT scan equipment.
The Health Minister, who was accompanied by Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, Chimbu Governor Noah Kool and Karimui-Salt Mogerema Wie, later opened the hospital’s physiotherapy wing and also witnessed the opening of a 16-bedroom nursing quarters building named after him. Post Courier