In 2022 PNG Rural and Remote Health Society annual symposium theme was Rural Hospital Design – Should There Be A Minimum Standard?
The symposium which took place in September last year had speakers from various rural hospitals throughout the country share their experience of their individual hospital design successes, flaws and lessons learnt. The islands perspective was shared by Dr Siaol Panta based on Misima Island, the highlands view from Dr David Mills of Kompiam and the coastal insight from Dr Valerie Archer based at Kapuna. Dr Ambrose Kwaramb, the Manager for Building and Facility Standards of the National Department of Health opened the meeting giving the national position in terms of healthcare facilities infrastructure standard, planning, design, delivery and sustainability. We gleaned an international viewpoint from guest speaker Dr John Oomen, the medical superintendent of Christian Hospital Bissamcuttack and his 30yrs experience working in the rural and remote communities in India.
These talks set the stage for the interactive discussion between the society members as well as the non-members who were themselves past or current practitioners in rural hospitals; as to what is and how should a rural hospital in Papua New Guinea be designed. These thoughts were complied into – Principles of Rural Hospital Design, Recommendations on NHS Design Standards, and presented to Dr Lenturut of the National Department of Health on 2nd June during the National Health Service Standards conference in Mt Hagen.