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Floating hospital to ply rural areas on Gulf coast

By Travertz Mabone PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 1, 2011) – Berthed silently at the Port Moresby dockyards, the Pacific Link awaits its mission to the Gulf of Papua with a mission to make a difference to primary health services in areas where basic government health care is rarely available.

Through the Youth With A Mission - Australia PNG Ship tour, the seafaring hospital will not only offer medical services but will also further forge PNG and Australia relationship, trying to bridge the gap with the youth of both countries

Ophthalmic surgery, dental and emergency work will be provided to rural areas along the Gulf coast.

The ship also provides education and health tips through their simple but effective slogan "I want to live" giving a breath of hope to those that find primary health services inaccessible.

In 2010 the YWAM medical ship came under the management of YWAM Australia and is now based in North Queensland, Australia.

The YWAM has a commitment of a five year strategic plan for YWAM medical ships to provide health care services in PNG and to provide opportunities for young Australians to serve others.

The CEO of the YWAM Australia and PNG ship tour Ken Mulligan said in the next five to 10 years they will continue to return to places that they have visited to ensure their involvement is not a one off thing.

They aim to provide sustainable community development with a focus on medical care in PNG, improve ties between PNG and Australia, provide training opportunities for youth volunteers and professionals to the benefit of the wider community and for help young people gain a sense of purpose through helping others.

Mr Mulligan said the group is working hard with the government to bring medical care and promote life.

He said their services are purely voluntary and involve medical practitioners and interested youths from Australia while lots of people from elsewhere are also getting involved to assist.

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