Rural ambulance network expanded

In line with its mission to partner with stakeholders to improve health care outcomes for the people of PNG, Digicel Foundation has engaged in a partnership valued at K528,735 with St John Ambulance.

This partnership will enable St. John Ambulance to expand its rural ambulance network to Milne Bay Province in partnership with the Provincial Health Authority through the purchase of a land and sea ambulance.

The main objective is to improve pre-hospital services by providing quality emergency response with the help of the ambulances and increasing the number of patients retrieved and transferred to the hospital.

The Alotau General Hospital will be the main beneficiary of this program. A major component of the partnership will include funding for training of nurses, ambulance drivers and water police personnel to be qualified with Level 1 Ambulance Practicing Certificates. The program will run for a year and will help St. John Ambulance increase the number of emergency responses to high priority cases and keep electronic medical records.

The signing of this new partnership agreement adds to the support Digicel has been giving St John over the last six years through the St John’s Toll Free Emergency Hotline for the public.

Digicel PNG CEO, Colin Stone, said Digicel as a business is a proud supporter of St John’s Ambulance services because they deliver an important health service to the public.

“Digicel has partnered with St John supplying a toll free emergency hotline as well as PABX and mobile services since 2015.

“In January 2020, Digicel also developed the 111 service with St John so now Digicel customers have one free call number to access Ambulance, as well as Police and Fire services across PNG.

“Each year Digicel contributes over K250,000 in value, with over K1 million already delivered to support the services of St John. This partnership with the Foundation builds on the support that has already been given by the Company and we look forward to St Johns increasing the support they provide across the country.”

Digicel PNG Foundation has invested K9 million into health projects, including providing a total of 41 ambulances to health centres in various districts around the country.

Matt Cannon, CEO of St John Ambulance PNG, said: “This is brilliant support from the Digicel Foundation to continue to deliver in healthcare in PNG. We’re excited about the possibilities this partnership brings as we expand the national ambulance service to more places.

“This partnership will help improve pre-hospital care by standardising ambulance coordination and transport, which is a step in the right direction.

“For the last six years, Digicel PNG Limited has been at the forefront of helping us with our mission. Communication is the first pillar of an effective emergency care system, with Digicel’s support, we are able to reach tens of thousands of people each year, and we can provide support all around the country via the tele medicine. Their support has gone a long way in helping us to serve humanity.”

(St John Ambulance board members receiving the cheque of K528,735 from Digicel PNG Foundation)

Press release