9 June 2017
The creation of a new independent health system for Timor-Leste
over the last 16 years has seen a growth of more than 980 doctors
enter the system, from only 20 in 2001.
This figure is expected to jump to more than 1000 by the end of
2017, according to an article in the latest issue of the Australia
and New Zealand Journal of Surgery (ANZJS), the peer-review
publication of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Author Philip Truskett, past RACS President provides a stark
reminder of the recent history, when Indonesian military forces
finally withdrew after 24 years of control in 1999.
Timor-Leste was left with only 20 doctors to service the entire
country and no specialists to undertake clinical work for a
population of 700,000.
Thankfully with hospitals and churches still standing despite
the emense destruction of infrastructure, Mr Truskett said that the
country set about increasing its medical and surgical capacity to
better service its growing population.
With ongoing support and collaboration in the way of education
programs, medical training and funding from the Ministry of Health,
Universidade Nacional de Timor Lorosa'e, Australian Aid, Cuba and
RACS, the country now provides a 1000 strong medical workforce.
The article documents the career progression of Timorese medical
personel and reports from the Australian East Timor Specialist
Services Project (AETSSP) and Australian Timor-Leste Program of
Assistance for Specialty/Secondary Services (ATLASS) and highlights
the incredible dedication and commitment to the delivery of
surgical training and care in the country.
the full article here.
Journal of Surgery, published by Wiley-Blackwell, is the
pre-eminent surgical journal published in Australia, New Zealand
and the South-East Asian region for the Royal Australasian College
of Surgeons. The Journal is dedicated to the promotion of
outstanding surgical practice, and research of contemporary and
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