A far north Queensland doctor who has been treating Papua New Guinea (PNG) tuberculosis sufferers in the Torres Strait Islands says the final patients will be handed over to their own health system in early June.
Agencies including Ausaid, the Federal, State and PNG health departments have met in Cairns in the state’s far north to discuss the transition of tuberculosis services to PNG.
Dr Graham Simpson says progress is being made to prepare for the transition.
“They’ve got some very dedicated people over there and they’ve now got access to a lot of the drugs and so on that they just didn’t have before,” he said.
“Things are a lot better than we probably anticipated they would get in that length of time.
“It’s still going to be an unproven service but they’re very keen and we’ve just got to wish them luck and wait and see.”
Dr Simpson says the final patients not be left on their own.
“We plan to continue to have joint meetings – both sides want to have that – not clinics seeing patients but just meeting,” he said.
“I hope that’ll happen – alternating between meetings in Daru and meetings in Australia, so that we’ll keep in touch in that way.”