AUSTRALIA will provide A$500 million (K1,137 million) for the redevelopment of the Angau Memorial General Hospital in Lae, Morobe, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says.
The PNG Government is expected to counter-fund the project with a similar amount. The project for the 60-year-old building is expected to be the largest infrastructure project in the country.
Bishop was accompanied in Lae by Australian Development and Cooperation Minister Stuart Schaefer and Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes.
They met Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, Angau chief executive officer Dr Polapoi Chalau, Lae Open MP and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Loujaya Kouza and Morobe Governor Kelly Naru.
Bishop toured sections of the hospital and saw the deteriorating conditions of the hospital built for the Australia New Guinea administrative unit.
“This is an important hospital which serves the province and people in the city and we are going to plan it in a methodical way so that we can get the best outcome,” she said.
“The original hospital is now 60 years old as it was built in 1954 and is now rather run down and infested with termites over time.
“(Termites) have infested the walls and floors and we need to work very hard to lift the standard to something that is world class.
“A hospital is more than just a building. We need to ensure that the staff are trained, that the medical equipment is first class and the building is maintained.”
Naru said Angau stood for the Australia New Guinea Administrative Unit during the World War II.
He thanked Australia for funding its redevelopment. ONE PNG / The National