Last Update: 30/01/2013 17:42
The College's support includes the
provision of a range of clinical services to Papua New Guinea (PNG)
and developing local surgical and medical capacity through its
commitment to practical training and skills transfer.
The goal is to improve patient health
through increased tertiary health services in Papua New Guinea.
Specialist medical teams visit major
and provincial centres, delivering services in the following
- Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
- Cardiac Surgery
- Paediatric Surgery
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
PNG's self-sufficiency in the delivery
of tertiary health services is constantly improving, facilitated by
the College's ongoing emphasis on the training of local surgical
and medical personnel. Each visiting surgical team is accompanied
by PNG medical personnel and at least one major training workshop
is conducted annually.
The College has also developed a
strong relationship with the University of PNG (UPNG), School of
Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), which facilitates the training
and mentoring of local PNG surgical trainees. Some specialty visits
are scheduled during the formal examination week to provide the
medical school with external examiners for its candidates.
To date the following has been
- More than 22,000 patients treated with over 7,300 operations
across 9 surgical and medical specialties.
- Local surgical, anaesthetic and medical staff skilled up by
supporting more than 300 PNG counterparts to travel with and
participate in the clinical specialist program.
- Improved capacity of PNG specialists, evidenced by a number of
newly-qualified sub-specialists who can now perform complex
surgery; general surgeons are able to independently perform a wider
range of cases through the provision of training and other capacity
- Established a local neurosurgical service through mentoring and
supporting the formal training of the Pacific region's first
- Established a local paediatric surgical service through the
practical training and professional mentoring of PNG's first 2
fully qualified paediatric surgeons; Paediatric Surgery has
improved to such a high level that local specialists are capable of
leading outreach visits without the support of visiting
- Improved the knowledge of local surgical personnel in the areas
of patient identification and selection, by supporting
pre-screening activities prior to the arrival of specialist
- Improved capacity of responding to emergencies and trauma
through the provision of workshops such as Definitive Surgical Trauma Care
(DSTC) (PDF), Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), Care of the Critically Ill
Surgical Patient (CCrISP) and emergency medicine programs such
as the Primary Trauma Care (PTC)
Course. PNG instructors now have the capacity to deliver a
number of these courses without the support of visiting
- Continued support for the attendance of Australian and New
Zealand surgeons to attend the annual PNG Medical Symposium, as an
important opportunity for PNG surgeons to develop and strengthen
relationships with colleagues across Asia and the Pacific.
- Continued support for PNG surgeons and trainees to attend
various workshops and capacity building activities including
the College's Annual Scientific Conference
(ASC), the Pacific Island Surgeons Association (PISA)
Conference, Sign Nail Technology Workshop, Cadaver Dissection
Course and Paediatric Life Support Course.
- Fostered the sustainability specialist services in PNG through
the support for PNG surgeons and trainees to participate in
hospital attachments in Australia and abroad.
- Improved standard of tertiary health care evidenced by the
operations that have been performed by visiting and local
Scholarships and awards
In addition to training delivered
through the project, the College international scholarships
program supports additional training opportunities for PNG surgeons
and trainees, both in Australia and abroad. This has contributed to
the increased capacity of the current PNG tertiary health service
and, most importantly, to the long-term sustainability of tertiary
health service provision in PNG.
The College's Rowan
Nicks Scholarship and Surgeons International
Award programs have helped approximately fifteen PNG
surgeons and anaesthetists access further training and education
opportunities in Australia and New Zealand, and India.
- Dr Noah Tapaua was awarded a 2010 Rowan Nicks Pacific Island
Scholarship, and will undertake a 12-month attachment at the
Frontier Lifeline & Dr. K. M. Cherian Heart Foundation in
Chennai, India, commencing in September 2011. The scholarship
is designed to support Dr Tapaua's plans to establish a
cardiothoracic unit in PNG and build on his 2-year training at
Geelong Hospital in 2007 and 2008, supported by the Surgeons
- Surgeons Dr Ikau Kevau, Dr Victor Golpak and Dr Arnold Waine
were awarded the College's International
Travel Grant to attend the 2010 Annual Scientific Congress
(ASC) in Perth.
- Dr Peter Kaminiel was awarded a 2009 Rowan Nicks Pacific Island
Scholarship, which he commenced in January 2010. Dr Kaminiel
initially undertook a 6-month attachment as a Supervised Registrar
in the Trauma Unit at the Royal Perth Hospital under the
supervision of Cameron Thrum. This was followed by additional 6
months at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital under the supervision
of Professor David Wood.
- Dr Sammy Thomas was also a 2009 Rowan Nicks Pacific Island
Scholarship recipient. Dr Thomas commenced a 12-month training
attachment at Townsville Hospital under the supervision of Mr Eric
Guazzo specialising in Neurosurgery in 2011.
- Dr Jambi Garap undertook an attachment at the Royal Victorian
Eye and Ear Hospital through the support of the Surgeons
International Award in 2009. Dr Garap worked under the supervision
of Dr Robert Buttery for a 3-month tenure, supporting her
development of eye care services in PNG through PNG Eye Care, a
non-governmental organisation she founded in 2008.
- Dr Sam Endican was supported by the Surgeons International
Award to attend the Cadaver Dissection Course at the University of
Queensland. As a recipient of this award, Dr Endican was also able
to participate in a 5-week training program at the Princess
Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, supervised by Ear Nose and Throat
(ENT) surgeon Dr Chris Perry.
- Dr Noah Tapaua received the Surgeons International Award to
support Dr Tapaua's travel and relocation to Australia in February
2007 to begin a 2-year training program in Cardiothoracic Surgery
at the Geelong Hospital, under the supervision of Mr Morteza
Mohajeri. Upon completion of his attachment in December 2008, he
returned to PNG to be the first surgeon-educator of Cardiothoracic
Surgery in PNG.
- Dr Benjamin Yapo completed his Paediatric Surgery training in
Australia at the Children's Hospital Westmead in New South Wales,
initially supported by the Surgeons International Award and
subsequently by Westmead Hospital. Dr Yapo retuned to Mt Hagen
General Hospital in 2008 and on completion of his exams in 2009
became the third fully qualified paediatric surgeon in PNG.
- Dr Lister Lunn and Dr Arvin Karu were both awarded Rowan Nicks
Scholarships in 2007 to undertake 12-month training attachments at
the Frontier Lifeline & Dr. K.M. Cherian Heart Foundation in
Chennai, India. This dual scholarship was awarded to provide
specialist training in cardiac surgery for Dr Lunn and cardiac
anaesthesia for Dr Karu.
- Dr Timmy Tingnee was awarded his first Rowan Nicks Scholarship
to undertake a 6-month attachment at the Tweed Heads Hospital. In
2007 Dr Tingnee was awarded a second Rowan Nicks Scholarship, which
he used to gain extensive Urology experience at the Box Hill
Hospital, Melbourne, under the supervision of Dr Allan Crosthwaite.
On completion of his exams in 2009, Dr Timmy Tingnee became the
second fully qualified urologist in PNG. Dr Tingee is currently
setting up Urology services in Mt Hagen.
- Dr Matupi Apaio was supported by the Surgeons International
Award in 2005 to attend the Westmead Hospital Oral &
Maxillofacial (OMF) Surgery revision course in Sydney. While in
Australia he also undertook 1-week clinical attachments; the first
with Dr Paul Duke in Adelaide and the second with Mr Andrew Heggie
- PNG paediatric surgeon Dr Okti Poki received a RACS
International Travel Grant to attend the ASC in Perth.
- PNG trainee Dr Richard Benny received a Rowan Nicks Scholarship
to support Urological surgical training at the Royal Brisbane
- PNG surgeons Dr Mclee Mathew and Dr Ikau Kevau were awarded
RACS International Travel Grants to attend the ASC in
- Dr William Kaptigau a General Surgeon working in Port Moresby,
received the Surgeons International Award, supporting him to
participate in the 2004 ASC in Melbourne and to undertake advanced
neurosurgical training under the supervision of Professor Jeffrey
Rosenfeld at The Alfred Hospital. By the end of 2004, Dr Kaptigau
successfully completed his Masters of Surgery at the University of
Papua New Guinea, becoming the first qualified neurosurgeon in PNG,
in addition to the first indigenous neurosurgeon in the South
Pacific. Prior to this, Dr Kaptigau received a Rowan Nicks
Scholarship in 2002, which enabled him to participate in a training
attachment at Townsville Tertiary Hospital under the supervision of
Professor Eric Guazzo.
Chairman - International Committee
Professor David Watters FRACS
Royal Australasian College of
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Fax: +61 3 9249 1276
Program Assistant - Ms Kate Moss
Telephone: +61 3 9276 7413
External Affairs Director
Ms Daliah Moss
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1276