PNG Hospitals Online

PNG Hospitals Online websiteDuring my recent break from this blog I took the opportunity to tinker a little deeper with WordPress and explore this powerful CMS framework for creating functional, interactive and aesthetically pleasing websites.

I fiddled with WordPressMU, bbPress and Buddypress and setup a couple of test sites. I explored the Hybrid and Carrington Themes and realised the power in using a framework rather than a straight theme for building a site. I finally dug my heals in and now have a better handle on PHP, CSS and MySQL.

In addition, I rebuilt Trupela Tok from the ground up – ditching the K2 WordPress Theme and the SimpleScripts automated install and upgrade scripting utility.  I manually setup MySQL and WordPress – chose the Hybrid News Theme as my framework of choice and have not looked back since. To top it of I wrote a couple of my own plugins/functions and ended up comfortable enough with CSS to carry out some “u-beaut” graphical mods.

The PNG Health ForumDuring this “dormant” period I also worked on an idea that had been in the back of my mind for some time – a website which would allow PNG Hospitals to start sharing much needed information and electronic resources. The concept evolved from the idea of creating a web survey which would be made available to Hospitals around Papua New Guinea. Initially for free but eventually I was hoping that Hospitals around the country and NDOH itself would grab on to the idea and perhaps run with it themselves.

After a few days of designing, building and some more tinkering – PNG Hospitals Online finally went live around mid May. We were led to believe that an opportunity would present itself at the PNG National Health Conference to officially launch the site and at the same time encourage participants (mainly Hospital management) when returning to their respective provinces to start using the system. Unfortunately, the launch never took place and for reasons that still remain unknown to me little to no attention was given to the site by the officials that visited us at Goroka General Hospital during that week of the Conference.

At the time of launching – PNG Hospitals Online was built with the following features:

  • Repository of basic information for all Hospitals in the country.
  • Access to the PNG Health Forum.
  • List of useful links.
  • Download area for Health related documents and papers.
  • Facility for individual Hospitals to register and update their own details.
  • A contact form to email the team at PNG Hospitals Online.

If you visit PNG Hospitals Online you can read the first and only post I published as part of that initial launch – here’s an excerpt:

The feasibility, ultimate survival and the development of enhancements to this site will naturally depend upon the following:

  • The level of interest shown by Hospital Administrators and the National Department of Health.
  • The interest shown by the IT Community and their willingness to contribute and participate in this project.
  • Project Funding from the PNG Government and the NGO Community.

There currently exists a window of opportunity in Papua New Guinea to develop an integrated National Health Information System (NHIS) which is on par with existing Health Systems around the world and at a fraction of the cost.

I’m sad to report that since the site’s launch in mid May there has not been one PNG Hospital register nor anyone show any real interest. Occasionally a visitor will send an email through the “Contact Us” page asking to be sent information on Goroka Hospital or perhaps an overseas medical student enquiring about doing some practical work with us.

The outcome both saddens and disillusions me – perhaps the concept needed some more marketing – perhaps the idea came from the “wrong” person – perhaps the timing was wrong – I really don’t know or understand  why it is that someone out there didn’t grab this concept with both arms.

This post is a final attempt to try and gain some interest and participation in this concept otherwise I will be left with no other choice than to shut the site down.

The Author

3 responses to “PNG Hospitals Online”

  1. Nellie

    Dear Robert,

    what your doing is good. I see your point, I think that most PNGeans are computer illiterate and they don’t understand the importance of data disemination and data entry. There need to be more awareness and staff training so they know how to access and use this site.

    I am trying to get information on PNG statistics of alcohol abuse but there seems to be no report on this as well as the records for each provinces.

  2. adda voice

    i agree with robert.