28 April 2022
BHP has been supporting local regional communities with their response to the management of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
We recently provided funding for Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) to employ an additional two GPs to provide medical support Newman residents for the next two years.
Two GPs are currently employed by PAMS to run clinics in the four remote communities, in addition to permanently based nursing staff in those communities. Another two locum GPs operate the services run out of the Newman clinic.
Demand for PAMS services has outstripped capacity of the service for a few years, and it has been under increasing pressure since COVID-19, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service providing critical support during recent outbreaks.
BHP also donated rapid antigen tests and 15,000 surgical masks to PAMS for distribution to Newman and Western Desert communities.
The BHP-funded Newman based dialysis unit, which will see more than 30 WA Aboriginal dialysis patients return to country for treatment, was also opened in Newman this week.
WAIO Asset President Brandon Craig said: “The funding of new doctors as well as provision of surgical masks and rapid antigen tests to these remote Indigenous communities is part of our commitment through this challenging time.
“Our collaboration with PAMS, through a range of measures including this donation of PPE, the funding of residential GPs and a Newman based dialysis unit is vital to ensuring a safe and sustainable community in the Pilbara.”
PAMS CEO Robby Chibawe said: “We have two doctors who should be seeing up to 25 people a day, but we have at least 60 to 70 people a day coming to the service for care. The partnership with BHP means we will have four general practitioners.”