Australia High Commission
The Joint Understanding commitments by Australia and PNG include the deployment of 50 Australian Federal Police advisors, scoping and design of the Madang-Ramu Highway and reconstruction of the lower courts in Port Moresby, and support for the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure at the University of PNG.
Australia and Papua New Guinea yesterday moved another step toward redeveloping the Lae ANGAU Memorial Hospital, issuing a request for expressions of interest in preparing the Health Services and Facilities Master Plan for the project.
The two nations have agreed to co-fund the reconstruction of the hospital through the Australia-PNG Joint Understanding on Further Bilateral Cooperation on Health, Education, and Law and Order, signed in July 2013.
The ANGAU hospital redevelopment will be the largest health infrastructure project since PNG’s independence. Australia is investing up to AUD$207 million in the redevelopment including the Master Plan and 50 per cent of the capital cost of works.
Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG, Ms Deborah Stokes, said Australia is committed to working with PNG to advance the priorities agreed in the Joint Understanding.
“The masterplanning process will equip both governments with the information we need to redevelop the hospital facilities. This redevelopment will be done in a manner which is adapted to the PNG population’s health needs, can be staffed, is affordable and is able to be maintained,” Ms Stokes said.
Mr Ambrose Kwaramb, Manager Health Facilities Standards, National Department of Health, said: “The health service and health facilities design standards will guide the redevelopment of the hospital from master planning, to design and to the construction stage.”
The masterplanning process will include consultations with all hospital stakeholders, an assessment of existing clinical and non-clinical services and facilities, and an analysis of needs and gaps in services and facilities.
It will recommend a comprehensive site plan for the redevelopment and a phased demolition and construction program. Construction will be staged in order to maintain full operation of current hospital services.
The Master Plan will recommend preliminary design concepts, including energy efficiency measures, to assist the architects at the design stage.
The Master Plan, followed by detailed design work, will take approximately two years. Major construction work will commence in 2016-17.
Australia’s recent support for health infrastructure in PNG includes building a TB isolation ward in Daru, Western Province, refurbishing and rebuilding selected rural health facilities and rehabilitating three of PNG’s midwifery schools and the construction of two new midwifery schools.
Australia has also indicated to the PNG Government its willingness to support the establishment of an Independent Health Procurement Authority to help PNG improve the effectiveness of PNG’s health services.
Expressions of interest in preparing the Health Services and Facilities Master Plan will close on Friday 7 February 2014, with selected consultancy firms asked to lodge full proposals by Tuesday 11 March 2014. A contract with the successful consortium will be in place by mid-April 2014.