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THE LUTHERAN HEALTH SERVICE

The Lutheran Health Service aims to deliver efficient Health Service to the people of Papua New Guinea. The LHS aims to support family units to be healthier so they can participate well in their Christian Life to support the Church of God.

Department of Lutheran Health Services came into being in 1988 after the Ialibu synod. Prior to that LHS was under the Evangelism Department as one of its subdivisions.

To this date LHS currently has 4 hospitals: Brown Hospital in Finschaffen, Yagaum Hospital in Madang, Gaubin in Karkar and Etep Hospital in Ukata District.

In addition, LHS runs 28 health centre, 88 aid posts, 14 two men aid posts and 1 district health project which is in Menjamya.

LHS currently has 3 schools of which two are Community Health Workers (CHW) School and one Nursing School. Community Health Workers School is in Brown and Gaubin respectively, whilst Nursing School is in Madang which is affliated to the Devine Word University. Since becoming part of Devine Word University in 2002, Nursing School offers two major courses, a Post Graduate course and Registered Nurse course. The school is staffed by 50 teachers.

Most of the doctors at LHS hospitals are from overseas, mainly Germany. There is an understanding between Bavaria Lutheran Church in Germany and ELCPNG to seek doctors from countries like Madagasca and India to work in LHS hospitals in the country under 'South South' programme. Usually foreign doctors are here on 4 years contract.

We have only 2 national doctors serving in our hospitals, one in Etep and the other one in Gaubin. There are 300 health workers including the doctors and 250 casual workers.

Approximately 10,000 patients visit Brown Hospital every year from all over Papua New Guinea because of the specialist personnel and facilities we have. "We have very committed missionary doctors who give lot of their time serving people."

LHS has three regional secretaries: Mr. Don Kudan, Madang, Mr. Nena Nak, Morobe and Rev. James Koi, highlands. These regional secretaries make up 'Senior Management Team' including the department secretary, Mr. Abraham Yapu. The Senior Management Team meets once a year to give advice to LHS board. The board approves all endorsements and takes it up to the Church Council meeting for approval. Once approved,they are taken back to the staff for implementation.

LHS is a member of Churches Medical Council (CMC). It receives K6million yearly from the government through CMC. These monies are then directed to projects like improving infrastructures, paying staff salaries and various health programs in three regions, Madang, Morobe and Highlands. Apart from the government, church gives huge chunk of money to LHS with further assistance from districts, LLGs, provincial governments whilst a few generous MPs give some monetary assistance to support the work of LHS in their electorates.

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