We spoke to Dr Scott Wilkinson Corporate Protection’s Medical Director about Dredeco PNG, a long standing operation for us in Papua New Guinea.

Dredeco came to our attention recently when the site announced 10 years LTI free.  As medical providers for almost all of that period, we thought it timely to understand the site better, and who better to discuss this but Dr Scott!

Can we start with a basic question – where is Dredeco located and what are the operations?

Bige is situated 80km downriver from OK Tedi mine, in PNG’s Western Province

How long have we been operating there?

We have been operating at the site continuously since 2012 so next year will mark our 10 year anniversary!

What is our role?

We support the site with PNG Doctors who provide emergency and primary care to the workforce. Our doctors are Dr Daryl Robert and Dr Solomon Viyufa, both have been at the site for more than 5 years. They are highly valued and respected at the site, by the client and the workforce.

We also run training sessions and emergency drills.

How many CPAGHM staff work there?

We have 1 doctor back to back, doing 6 weeks on/off. Currently, due to COVID, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements have required our doctors to be flexible with dates and they have worked together to ensure we have had continuous coverage throughout the pandemic.

What qualifications are required?

Medical degree, plus experience in remote industrial settings and emergency care.

What are the challenges for our staff?

The site is incredibly remote and our team is a long way from any additional medical support. There is no ambulance service in the local area, so our doctors need to rely on their equipment and skills.

Due to the location, Malaria and TB are constant risks for the workforce, and now COVID is a constant threat, many people on site have contracted the virus over the past 12-18 months.

What are the challenges for the manager on this service?

We are very fortunate to have such fantastic staff. They have a fantastic work ethic and are highly professional.

What do you see as our major achievements in recent times?

The major achievement has been managing the COVID outbreak with recently over 60 site workers infected at once.

We are currently introducing rapid antigen testing to screen for COVID in asymptomatic workers

Our proudest achievement is offering a high quality and dependable medical service without fail for many years.

How do you see the future?

We hope to continue to serve our client for many years to come. Dredeco has a long term contract with Ok Tedi Mining and we are proud to work with them. I am also very proud of our team at the site and Daryl and Solomon are valued members of the Health and Medical team.