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June 2019

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(Back) Oyu Tolgoi Mining Company community relations officer Byambajav Tankhildulam, Khanbogd Hospital obstetric gynaecologist Durvuljin Ulziisaikhan, Associate Professor Lundeg Ganbold, ERH Chief Executive Officer Nick Bush, Governor Nanzad Naranbaatar, ERH medical services executive director Glenn Howlett, South Gobi Province regional diagnostic and treatment centre director Yanjmaa Boldbaatar, head of Mongolia’s social policy division Urjikh Enkhtsatsral, UNFPA program manager Zalaa-Uul Uyanga, ERH’s Dr Sam Kennedy, (front) ERH board president John Quirk and South Gobi Province Health Department director Tsendoo Unurjargal.

Mongolian delegates absorb Victorian health service knowledge

Medical professionals from Mongolia have visited Victorian hospitals as part of a study tour to encourage shared learning.

Delegates included the Mongolia South Gobi Governor Naranbaatar Nanzad, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representatives and Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences head of critical care medicine and anaesthesiology Associate Professor Ganbold Lundeg.

Mongolia’s southernmost province, Umnugobi, has a resident population of about 65,000 people and almost the same number of migrant population due to large-scale mining.

Umnugobi has high rates of adolescent birth, sexually-transmitted infections, road traffic injuries and mortality.

Due to geographical and other similarities with the Mongolian context, regional health services in Australia offer a good example of health care governance and effective service provision to remote and transient populations.

The study tour aimed to facilitate learning and identify models and approaches to be implemented in the Umnugobi context.

It also helped develop and implement areas of mutual interest and/or benefit, particularly relating to rural and remote health practices.

Northern Health was one of the host health services for the Mongolian delegation.

The delegation was met at Northern Hospital by Amanda Baric, no stranger to Mongolia, having first visited there in 2005.

In 2008, with Northern Health’s David Pescod, Dr Baric was responsible for signing an MoU with the Mongolian Government to improve anaesthetic training.

The following year, an 18-month training program was first delivered in Mongolia.

The training program was developed by Associate Professor Pescod, Dr Baric and other Northern Health anaesthetists.

Since 2009, eight groups of 28 to 30 trainees have passed through the program.

The Mongolian delegation also attended an Echuca Regional Health board meeting.

Echuca Regional Health board president John Quirk said the interest and questions about board governance was significant.

‘The delegation was very interested to learn from us to help establish their own board.’

After the board meeting the delegation and ERH signed a memorandum of understanding.

The MoU signalled the start of a long-term partnership between the two organisations for sustained capacity development of the health services in South Gobi province.

The delegation also visited the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Northern Hospital and Bendigo Health.