Miner funds new doctors for remote PNG

Newcrest Mining has donated funding to provide a remote Papua New Guinea hospital its first doctor since 2010.

Working in conjunction with Australian Doctors International (ADI), the miner is providing $70 000 per year for the next three years to help deploy doctors to the Namatanai Hospital in PNG's New Ireland province.

Head of Australian Doctors International, Dr. Peter Macdonald, said "ADI welcomes this support from Newcrest Mining, Namatanai Hospital sees three times more patients than its counterpart in the provincial capital Kavieng. Yet in addition to having no doctor, there’s no running water, reliable power, emergency obstetric equipment, x-ray, routine life-saving drugs or lab technician.

"People were dying as a result."

The funding provided by Newcrest is part of its agreements with the New Ireland Provincial Government aimed at providing immediate resources to improve the region in terms of health, education, and infrastructure.

The first Newcrest funded volunteer doctor started work next month.

Last year, ADI’s volunteer doctors treated 3,712 patients during remote health patrols and provided 550 hours of case-based teaching to health workers.

This new ADI role involves working at Namatanai Hospital and nearby health centres in the southern part of New Ireland.

Newcrest runs the Lihir gold mine on an island near New Ireland.