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BMEs and BMETs helping our neighbours
AusAID Projects

The pacific biomedical community has been supported with training and resources, both workshops and tools.What is being planned for the future?

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Past projects

A lot of work has been done with the biomedical engineering community in the Pacific in the provision of training, tools & workshops:

  • MEMP: Medical Equipment Management Project in PNG
  • MEMPP: Medical Equipment Maintenance Project in the Pacific
  • PNG HSSP: Papua New Guinea Health Sector Support Program
  • CBSC: Capacity Building Service Centre, PNG


Current & future projects

No AusAID projects for PNG or the Pacific are currently underway or are planned for the immediate future.





Papua New Guinea


Pacific Region

Health Sector Strategic Plan (1999-2005)
previously MEMP
Medical Equipment Management Project (Jan 99- Jan 04)

Australian biomed experiences:
Ian Hill in Mendi, PNG April 1999
Noel Kitto visited 6 provincial hospitals Aug 2003
Joslyn Fernandez lab equipment training 2005

Funding of US$70 million over six years to support GoPNG's (Govt PNG) Health Sector. Part of this funding improved the situation of poorly maintained or non-existent medical equipment.

  • 33 biomedical technicians (including one woman) been trained in equipment maintenance. Most are based in provincial hospitals where 14 biomedical repair workshops have been constructed and fitted out with tools and spare parts
  • Laboratory equipment training for biomedical technicians provided by RMIT International, in association with Meddent and Flinders Biomedical Engineering. In-service training for 45 biomedical technicians throughout PNG in the use, maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment and analysers, optic and dental equipment.
  • Nursing staff training to use equipment more effectively and to undertake minor repairs, improving customer care and enhancing the equipment’s longevity.

Functioning equipment is essential for basic health care as well as more sophisticated medical procedures. Sterilisers, kerosene lanterns and buckets are needed to meet basic hygiene and safety requirements at aid posts. Anaesthetic apparatus and x-ray equipment are essential for hospitals. In PNG, poor equipment policy and management practices and lack of an equipment repair service were identified as major factors in the decline in overall health care services.

PNG Treasury Budget 2002

AusAid Annual report 2001-2002
RMIT International Annual Report 2004



Medical Equipment Maintenance Project in the Pacific
(Apr 2000 - Mar 2006)

Australian biomed experience:
Jack Beesley in Tonga 2002

The Pacific region includes Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Project achievements are described by RACS and include:

  • Repair of medical equipment conducted over 59 visits with training provideed for seven Pacific island countries since 2000, with 30 participants enrolled in an informal correspondence course in basic electronics
  • A computerised and regularly up-dated inventory of equipment and spare parts in the major hospitals of six Pacific Island Countries;
  • A computerised equipment maintenance schedule that is used in each hospital to ensure timely maintenance of hospital equipment;
  • A system in each major hospital that ensures all requests for purchases of new equipment, or offers of donations, are carefully considered by the potential users of the equipment as well as by those who will have to maintain and repair it;
  • A system in each major hospital that enables essential spare parts and consumables to be procured in a timely fashion, whether through departmental budgets or from donors;
  • A core of trained staff in each major hospital who are equipped and able to carry out basic maintenance and repairs and to access specialised advice and/or assistance when required.

AHI, Aus Health International

AusAID Annual Report 2001-02
RACS, Royal Australian College of Surgeons


For others who have participated in these projects - please send a report & photos to SMBE Enquiry link below and we will include them.
Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands New Caledonia Vanuatu Fiji Tonga Niue American Samoa Tuvalu Tokelau Kiribati



Updated September 28, 2010