Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

New rural hospital opened in Kapuna

Over 35, 000 people of Kapuna in the Kikori District of Gulf Province can now access improved health care services following the opening of the upgraded Kapuna Hospital today (Friday 28 Jan).

The PGK10 million project was funded through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership’s Incentive Fund in collaboration with Gulf Christian Services.

Locals joined dignitaries including Prime Minister James Marape, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta to celebrate the opening of the upgraded facility.

The upgraded facilities include a new emergency centre, dental clinic, birthing suits, operating theatres and 24hour solar power. Other new facilities also include paediatric and maternity wards, as well as additional offices, water systems, hospital equipment, staff houses and kitchen facilities.

Australia’s High Commissioner, Jon Philp said “Providing high-quality health care in PNG is challenged by geographical remoteness, lack of access to clean running water, lack of equipment, and other vital resources that impact service delivery.  This kind of support is especially needed in the farthest and most remote regions of PNG, such the Purari Delta in Gulf Province where we are today.”

He also highlighted that Papua New Guinea and Australia have a long-lasting commitment to strengthening PNG’s health capacity, infrastructure and service delivery through programs such as the Incentive Fund. 

With approximately 60 per cent of the hospital services supporting women’s health, a key priority for the hospital management is to support the implementation of its gender equality and social inclusion policy. This includes developing relevant policies and building capacity of the hospital staff to implement the policies on a daily basis, while also increasing women’s voices in decision making at the hospital.

Representative of Gulf Christian Services and Project Manager for the Kapuna Hospital Project, Marshall McKean stated that “years of hard work and dedication of many wonderful people and organizations has culminated in the completion of our fantastic new Kapuna Hospital.”

He continued that the project is “well suited to our mission to provide Christ-centered services to remote communities in the Gulf Province and throughout Papua New Guinea.”

In 2021, Kapuna Hospital reached more than 25,000 people through on-site services and community outreach including COVID-19 awareness sessions.  The Incentive Fund-supported infrastructure will support increased access to and quality of health services for the local population, both now and in the future.

Australia is proud to work in partnership with the Government of PNG, Gulf Christian Services, Total, Curtain Brothers and Summer Institute of Linguistics to deliver this critical health infrastructure for communities in Kikori District.