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Australian company donated machine

By Oseah Philemon PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 25, 2010) - In May this year, the Post-Courier published a front page story on a serious problem the Angau Memorial Hospital was facing with the breakdown of its pathology equipment.

Regional pathologist Dr. Francis Bannick broke his silence by speaking out about the danger that patients at the hospital faced with the pathology unit in dire state.

Banick was worried that blood and tissue specimen for patients were being sent to Port Moresby General Hospital and the turn around time for the results was more than 12 months.

Some patients had already died waiting for the results of their tests.

Angau Memorial Hospital is the regional referral hospital for the Mamose but its pathology unit had become a threat to the lives of its own patients because of the aging equipment – many of which have broken down or gone past their useful lifespan.

Staff in the pathology unit had been praying silently for a "Good Samaritan" to come forward with some new equipment for them.

Across the corridor Bannick is sitting in his office angry that such a major hospital should be in such an intolerable state. He rang the Post-Courier to let out his frustrations about the situation he and his staff were facing. Public Service General Orders forbid public servants from speaking out but Bannick told this newspaper he is not afraid of losing his job because he is concerned about the lives of hundreds of people who go to Angau hospital everyday seeking medical help.

When the article appeared in the Post-Courier Sandra Pickworth from Meddent a company in PNG that deals with the importation, installation and maintenance of medical equipment immediately sent it to an Australian company named Orthoclinical Diagnostics that specializes in the supply of pathology equipment.

Ms. Pickworth asked Mr. Iain Hamilton of Orthoclinical Diagnostics if his company would donate a new pathology machine to the Pathology Unit at Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae.

After some discussion Hamilton and his company made the all-important decision to donate a brand new Vitros 350 machine worth 300,000 kina [US$114,000] to Angau Hospital.

The Good Samaritan has come all the way from Melbourne for Angau Hospital.

Bannick was a happy man at the hospital yesterday saying the prayers of him and his staff have been answered.

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