Stories from Papua New Guinea

The 2016 National Health Services Standards (NHSS) exercise for the Gulf Provincial health system was funded by the Oil Search Foundation in partnership with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and Gulf Provincial Health services. The NHSS included a review of 67 existing rural health facilities facilitated by chief clinicians and national health support services experts.

For many years I sat in meetings with senior PNG health and development colleagues as we discussed how to address the health challenges in the country. I remember many times saying “what about Gulf, we need to do something about Gulf”. Gulf with its 180,000 odd population distributed sparsely across its very large land mass is situated between the big giants of Central Province, Western Province and Southern Highlands. Its geographic isolation and lack of infrastructure make it difficult to attract health professionals to come and to stay.