PRiME - Papua New Guinea partnership
As a result of this first conference, we were then invited to Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands for the second annual PNG PRIME conference which was held at Easter in 2012. Again a team of 4 Australian doctors partnered with our colleagues at the Mt Hagen General Hospital to present a 3 day conference of teaching and workshops.
The conference covered a range of topics including HIV, chronic disease management, and common neurological presentations. We looked at the role of coaching or mentoring of junior staff. Central to the PRiME ethos is the idea of Whole-Person Medicine: caring for body, mind and spirit which we explored in the local cultural context. We also looked at how to care for ourselves as health practitioners working in demanding and often stressful environment.
This conference was attended by many staff of the Mt Hagen General Hospital from a whole range of disciplines: medical, nursing, allied health, social work, as well as pastors and members of the local community and local churches. Our Australian team was inspired to hear the story and vision of Mt Hagen Hospital serving their local community, and it is a privilege to partner with them.
Outside the conference hours there were exciting opportunities to join with the local community and share with the local churches in worship and fellowship.
This partnership has grown so much in just two years and many who have attended the conferences have been inspired to share their learning back in their own departments and towns. One area for development identified is that of pastoral care and chaplaincy training for hospital staff and members of the local community. Currently we are looking at developing a week long, accredited training course for this for 2013. There is potential to develop this partnership further in many other ways, expanding into other locations and broadening the disciplines that we encompass.