A small team of Specialist Doctors from Australia flew in over the weekend for the operation Open Heart Program after a three year hiatus.
The last time a team of specialist where in Port Moresby was in 2019 and the program came to a halt during the covid-19 pandemic.
There were 5 patients (2 children and 3 adults) with congenital heart disease who were operated on and are currently recovering.
Surgical Department Coordinator, Dr. Noah Tapaua who is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, said that the teams visit this time was more of a training.
“The operations were done by team of local specialists with assistance from the visiting doctors.” “Since the start of the program in 1993, 1, 281 patients have received open and closed heart surgeries from the Operation Open Heart Team.”
“Even though Operation Open Heart had a hiatus, we continued to do closed heart surgeries.”
Dr. Tapaua said that previously the OOH visits were once a year and they would have a large number of surgeries done; however, they are working towards having more frequent visits from the team of specialists.
They are working towards having a local team who can carry out the open heart surgery. He said that they have envisioned that by 2020 they would be able to do that however, due to covid-19, it set their plan back.
He added that the Kumul Petroleum Heart Centre has top class equipment that will save people a lot of money by having testing and treatment available at the centre rather than going overseas for treatment.
He thanked Kumul Petroleum Holdings (KPHL) limited for the funding assistance that has made it possible for them to purchase essential equipment and also to employ a great team of specialists to care and assist the heart patients.
KPHL has allocated K50million to the Heart Centre and so far, they have used over K17million.