The Central Province’s ambulance service stands as a beacon of hope and care for the community with teams responding to emergencies on a day-to-day basis.
The Executive Director of Ambulance Operations, S/asst. Commander, Mr. Terence Torea, in a statement addressing the media’s enquiries about the Central Province Ambulance Service, said this was evident last year with the ambulance service responding to some 3, 800 emergency cases in the province.
According to Mr. Torea, the Ambulance service operation is bolstered by three reservist stations strategically located in Bereina, Kuriva, and Kupiano, enszuring comprehensive coverage across the province.
Additionally, ambulance units and response vehicles from the National Capital District (NCD) are frequently mobilized to support cases in Central Province.
“This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing coordinated, timely and critical care to those in need, regardless of the challenges presented by distance, funding or terrain.”
“Each call for help is met with support, whether it takes us across the street or as far as Kupiano, ensuring that every patient receives the care they need. Our Mission extends beyond the immediate response; it’s about preserving lives, reducing maternal and infant mortality, preventing loss of life from snakebite, and providing a lifeline to most vulnerable among us.”
He added that the importance of this service cannot be overstated, especially considering the vast areas they cover and the reliance on the single level 6 hospital being in Port Moresby for many of the patients from Central province.
St. John Ambulance (SJA) team are immensely proud of the strong partnership that they have fostered with the Central Provincial Health Authority and are continually inspired by the incredible work of health workers, nurses, and doctors.
The ambulance service’s reach are broad, from snakebites to maternal emergencies, from trauma to respiratory crises as each day brings new challenges that the skilled ambulance teams, equipped with basic life support systems in collaboration with dedicated SJA doctors and the Central Provincial Health Authority, meet with professionalism and care.
“The support we provide, especially in life-threatening situations like severe snakebite cases, is crucial to saving lives.”
However, Mr. Torea further stated that the financial reality of maintaining such an essential service, presents its challenges.
“The ambulance service’s true cost is approximately K 1.8 million, however the Central provincial government’s annual contribution is K200, 000 annually, the gap is significant. The St John ambulance service must scramble each year to fundraise some K 1.6 million to keep the service reliable and sustainable in Central Province.”
Meanwhile, despite this challenge, the ambulance service remains committed to offering vital services free of charge to those in emergency need, recognizing the difficult circumstances many in the province face.
“The Service’s dedication to public health care is unwavering, driven by a deep understanding of the community’s needs and the critical role we play in meeting them.”
“As a community organization, SJA welcomes the support of all stakeholders in this vital mission, as we continue to work tirelessly to save lives and improve health outcomes for our community,” he said.