JID logo

Training and development of clinical staff at PNG’s largest hospitals

Improving patient outcomes through innovative training solutions

Client: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Duration: 2017 – ongoing

Services: Program and Project Management

Expertise: Social Infrastructure; Disaster Resilience and Response; Health

JID is delivering of the Clinical Support Program Phase II, to enhance quality health care, develop long-term clinical improvement and improve the health status of patients and catchment populations of ANGAU Memorial Provincial Hospital and Port Moresby General Hospital. Together these hospitals with AMPH deliver essential health services to more than 1.9 m people in Morobe, Sepik and Madang provinces, while the PMGH, located in the National Capital District, services the entire country.

With Papua New Guinea continuing to be impacted by significant health challenges, it is essential that the two of PNG’s busiest hospitals are delivering effective clinical health care, supported by ongoing training and development for staff through the second phases of the Clinical Support Program.

The Clinical Support Program aims to improve the long-term clinical capability at Port Moresby General Hospital and ANGAU Memorial Hospital, and enhanced specialist training at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The program focuses on capacity building, and the effective use of ANGAU’s redeveloped facilities to support learning and development. Commencing in early 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program pivoted towards additional online support that focused on the COVID-19 pandemic response, with four main pillars of delivery:

JID worked closely with ANGAU Provincial Memorial Hospital and Port Moresby General Hospital to understand the specific clinical needs for capacity strengthening. Specialist organisations and consultants assisted JID to develop and provide training for program implementation, while the World Health Organisation of PNG endorsed all modules; this was particularly important given the high level of COVID-19 misinformation.

CoHELP focuses on providing support to clinicians across the whole of PNG in the treatment and management of COVID-19. The program includes virtual training for clinicians on the treatment and management of COVID-19 using the latest in learning and knowledge sharing technology. CoHelp is available to any person to log in and to learn more about COVID-19.

Another major innovation of this program is the Kumul Helt Skul online learning centre. The Kumul Helt Skul program has been configured and deployed based on customer specifications, to meet business users’ needs, and to adjust to a COVID-19 environment where face-to-face training is no longer the safest or most viable option. It is a digital platform to enable job-embedded professional development for health workers based in ANGAU and Port Moresby General Hospital, powered by Bero, a mobile learning platform. It is designed to provide engaging, accessible microlearning experiences in mobile-first, low-bandwidth environments.

Point of care 

Capacity building

The approach is focused exclusively on capacity building of health sector stakeholders and reduces the need for unsustainable fly-in-fly-out specialists or solutions. It’s a needs-driven and evidence-based approach to adult learning. The Clinic Support Program team work to match the real needs of the hospital staff with experts available in the region, then support those experts to provide targeted training opportunities. This moves away from the unsustainable model of specialised medical staff flying into PNG and delivering services (procedures, operations) then leaving without meaningfully enhancing the capacities of existing healthcare staff to deliver those services themselves.

Partnerships and collaboration

Working in collaboration with organisations such as the World Health Organisation’s Collaborating Centre at the University of Technology Sydney, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and the Monash Children’s Hospital allows hospital-based medical teams to learn from world-leading research, using cutting-edge technology and learning platforms. Building capacity at the leading edge keeps staff at the front line of medical knowledge and development.

COVID-19 pivot

JID has demonstrated experience in developing and implementing health-tech to improve service delivery, particularly in disaster response environment. JID delivered a rapid deployment of technical expertise across ANGAU and Port Moresby General Hospital to support clinical and management teams in the difficult, changing and uncertainty of COVID-19.

Technology at the core

CoHELP is based on an open-source low cost LMS Moodle system, with content endorsed by the PNG National Department of Health, World Health Organisation PNG and World Health Organisation Western Pacific Regional Office. CoHELP assisted clinicians to change and adapt to latest clinical practice, and new challenges, and delivering changing health services.

The Kumul Helt Skul is a digital learning platform that is designed to provide engaging accessible, micro-learning experiences, particularly in low-bandwidth locations and environments. Kumul Helt Skul’s innovative design suits a broader service delivery, including at the provincial and national level, with all training materials designed for the Morobe Province and PNG more widely.


JID partnered with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine to develop the Essential Emergency Care Systems Training Program using online content and face-to-face learning. Ninety-four per cent (94%) of ANGAU’s Emergency Care staff attended one or more live training sessions and all EC participating staff agreed that the new triage and flow system has improved patient flow and improved job satisfaction.

Our teams delivered 35 training sessions for ANGAU staff, around 80% female, with participating units including:

  • Maternity services (9 sessions)
  • Paediatrics (10 sessions)
  • Operating theatres (12 sessions)
  • Emergency Care (10 sessions)

We delivered a rapid response to the program’s COVID-19 pivot, with teams, including 14 clinical specialists, recruited, mobilised and deployed for up to 12 weeks from June to September 2021, providing essential management and clinical support to partners and staff including front line health workers while working under the challenging COVID-19 conditions.

Staff satisfaction and training has increased with a new dedicated training space. The online training platform now has over 500 registered users with multiple online training modules developed and delivered.

The Kumul Helt Skul Learning Management System continues to grow with five modules containing 27 learning courses developed for:

  • Emergency Department (10 courses)
  • Maternity and Leadership (3 courses)
  • Drug Resistant TB (1 course)
  • Operating Theatres and Central Sterilisation Unit (9 courses)
  • Infection Prevention and Control (4 courses).

We trained 30 ANGAU midwives, through the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Technology Sydney, in the Emergency Obstetric Care and Essential Obstetric Care and instruction for new equipment and facilities. The training resulted in an improved standard of patient care and increased level of confidence with 80% improvements and changes to practice sustained over the following six-month period and consolidated with use of the maternity care modules on the KHS platform.

We also partnered with Monash Children’s Hospital to develop and deliver training to 50 medical staff via online learning platforms.

More information: https://kumulheltskul.com