New ANGAU radiation oncologist

The ANGAU Memorial Provincial Hospital finally has a radiation oncologist on site.

Dr. Lakshman Obeysekara, a senior oncologist from Sri Lanka with well over 25 years of experience, is currently on a three-year contract with the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL), the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the Morobe Provincial Health Authority (MoPHA).

Morobe Provincial Health Authority CEO, Dr Kipas Binga, said ANGAU used to host the only cancer service in PNG until a lack of specialists and equipment forced Papua New Guineans to dig deep to send their loved ones overseas for treatment.

Dr Obeysekara’s recruitment is a small step towards revitalising this much-needed service in the country.

“Slowly the government and the country is putting all these systems in place, and that’s perhaps, also one of the major reasons it took quite a while for the radiation oncologist to come in,” said Dr Binga.

“But now that is in place, we’re hoping that the next bit is to bring in the medical physicist.

“That is work in progress now. We hope before the first quarter is up, we should have that person come in so that now will enable the radiation source to come in because part of the International Atomic Energy requirements is to have those kind of technical people on ground.

“Now that the radiation oncologist is here, that should speed up the process because he’s a very technical person and he knows the stuff that he needs to do.

“We appreciate him coming over.”

Dr Obeysekara has about 10 years’ experience as a medical doctor and almost 20 years now in oncology.

He will work as a radiation and medical oncologist specialising in radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

He is qualified in clinical oncology that includes radiotherapy and medical, both the pharmaceutical and clinical aspects.

After obtaining his Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery (MBBS) and doctor of Medicine in Oncology, Dr Obeysekara trained in Melbourne, Australia, as a radiation oncologist.

He was in Sri Lanka for the last 16 years as the senior oncologist.

He has been involved in the International Energy Agency (IEA) fellowships in various countries.

Carmella Gware