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China to build and fund New Level 4 Hospital at Taurama PNG Defence Force Barracks

 The Government of the Peoples Republic of China, under the leadership of PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko MP, has announced a significant commitment to construct a new Level 4 hospital at the Taurama PNG Defence Force Barracks. The barracks serve as the base for the 1st Battalion, Royal Pacific Island Regiment. This project, valued at K52 million, falls under China's Grant Aid program, encompassing K12 million worth of medical and health service support equipment.

A strategic meeting involving Defence Minister Hon. Billy Joseph MP and Chinese Ambassador H.E Zheng Fanhua aimed at clarifying project details and aligning with PNGDF and Health requirements. The objective is to establish a clear timeline for the successful implementation of the project, ensuring compliance with medical standards, building board standards, and other necessary approvals from relevant authorities.

The long-pending project has seen ongoing discussions, and this recent meeting underscores the mutual importance attached to it by the Chinese Government. While discussions regarding a potential upgrade to a Level 5 hospital are ongoing, the initial plan is to complete the Level 4 hospital, with a potential expansion in the second phase contingent upon funding availability.

The proposed hospital, according to current design and plans, will feature essential facilities such as an outpatient department, emergency treatment room, medical surgery and operation room, an observatory ward, and a medical office. While primarily serving officers of the 1RPIR and their families, the hospital will also extend health services to the surrounding communities on military terms.

Discussions further highlighted proposals to tailor medical services to Defence Force specifics, encompassing trauma and mental health support, additional operating theaters, occupational health for routine medical checks, ensuring the fitness for duty of men and women in uniform.

Pending formal approvals and consensus, construction is anticipated to commence as early as September this year, with the potential for completion by the country’s 50th Anniversary. This collaborative project between China, PNG Defence Force, and Health Department, facilitated by the Foreign Affairs Department, expresses gratitude to the Government of the Peoples Republic of China for a generous gift that will positively impact over 20,000 individuals, including Army officers and personnel, barracks residents, and surrounding communities.

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