As many of you know, the Nazarene Hospital is a training institution in many ways. We have the Nazarene College of Nursing, whose students train in the hospital. We have visiting medical students, and residents or registrars (in the Commonwealth system – UK, Australia, etc… a registrar is the equivalent of a resident doctor in the US). We have visiting specialists and other doctors, who are sometimes training us and sometimes here for experience in developing countries (usually both happen simultaneously).
In the last couple years we have been honored to be a major training center for the Masters in Rural and Remote Medicine program. We think it is one of the best things happening in medicine in Papua New Guinea. The remote areas of PNG are severely underserved with many districts not even having a doctor. District hospitals and health centers have closed at an alarming rate (the National Department Of Health says 40% of health centers in the country have closed over the last 10 years). Very few doctors have felt prepared for or willing to go to remote areas.
Dr. David Mills, an Australian missionary doctor had a vision to start a Rural Medicine specialty training program. God has done great things in helping this program start. Although it is not a religious program you can guess who has been recruited. Who would go to the rural, poor areas, and serve people for less money than they can make in the city? We are excited to see young, Christian Papua New Guinea doctors answer the call.
Each doctor is sponsored by a rural hospital (so far all church-run). It is a 6 year program. They spend 3 months per year at other training hospitals doing their training and 9 months in the sponsoring hospital putting new skills to work and working on further extension learning. The first 2 years they do surgery or obstetrics. Most of them have spent their surgical time at Kudjip, so we have been the leading training center for these doctors in the first 2 years of their program. We now have a rural registrar almost year round as they trade off coming for surgical and now other training as well.
It has been exciting to see the rural areas that have been transformed by these young, passionate doctors. We are looking into the possibility of becoming a sponsoring hospital as well as a training hospital. Dr. Imelda is working for us and thinking of joining the rural program.
Please pray for all the people that work at our hospital that contribute to both training in medicine and ministry. We believe teaching and discipleship go hand in hand. Also pray for all the people who receive training here and go minister throughout the country.