Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has announced significant progress in the health sector of Papua New Guinea since taking office in 2019, especially development in the areas of cardiac health and cancer facilities.

“When we took office in 2019, one of our pronouncements was that by 2025 we should not export PNG patients seeking heart, cancer and other specialist care overseas. Since then, our National Department of Health (NDoH) has been partnering Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL), utilising their 10 percent community service funds, and today Port Moresby heart facilities are at almost top function,” Prime Minister Marape stated.

In providing an update on the Cardiac Center, PM Marape made known that 2,300 angiograms have been completed since a Memorandum of Under- standing was signed in August, 2020. Three hundred and fifty (350) Stenting Procedures have been completed since 2020, of which 70 percent are male and 30 percent are female.

“These people were saved from potential stroke or heart attack by detecting early and treating them. 50 percent of the Angiogram and Stenting are professionals with economic value from the ages of 40 – 50, at the peak of their contributions to the nation.

“Children now don’t have to wait for Operation Open Heart (OOH) for Open Heart Operations to be carried out. Our doctors are saving lives through Non- Intrusive Surgery, plus preventing the operations scare for children that could potentially amount to self-esteem related issues,” he said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted that Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is installing the CathLAB equipment, purchased under KPHL MOU for K5 million, in which there will be two CathLAB machines and can be able to serve more Papua New Guineans.

“The cardiac patients could have paid a minimum of K100,000 to receive the treatment overseas, excluding associated costs, stress, pressure on family, and so on. We saved the nation K130 million, plus the lives of Papua New Guineans, and some of these are very important people for our country.

“As a result of KPHL intervention to PNG Government decision, we now have reduced OOH visits to only eight (8). Prior to KPHL MoU, we had 60 Operation Open Heart Team visits to PNG. A lot of Papua New Guinean doctors are being trained at the same time under the KPHL MoU, for Cardiologists at PMGH, as a result of KPHL-PNG Government investment,” stated PM Marape.

PMGH Cardiac Service has been awarded the Asian Cardiology Association Award in Dubai (UAE) for the ground-breaking Non-Intrusive Surgery, thanks to KPHL-PNG Government investment.

The Master Plan for PMGH is developed to align all services and teaching with the new facilities.

In terms of the Surgical Ward facilities, EPC award is being completed, and the Designer is in place.

“We are now working with UPNG Medical School, PMGH, NDoH and all stake- holders to ensure standards. As soon as that is clear, we will start the construction,” the Prime Minister announced.

“For the Heart Facility, we are now getting patients from various parts of the Pacific Region so Medical Tourism can grow here. On top of that, very soon both PMGH (Port Moresby, NCD) and Angau (Lae, Morobe) Cancer Facilities will become operational.

Prime Minister Marape added: “To my beloved Papua New Guineans, my op- ponents argue that I talk and not delivering but I don’t argue with them; we are working where we can. Just go to PMGH to see all these if you don’t believe.”