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Nurse volunteer in Timor-Leste – account by Carly Hyland
Date Posted: 10/08/2015

The Jesuit Clinic at Railaco. From left Dr Robert Costa, Sammy Hyland RN, Rev Dr Bong SJ, Carly Hyland RN, Dr Ian Marshall AM and Sister Bibianne Prado SPC

The Jesuit Clinic at Railaco. From left Dr Robert Costa, Sammy Hyland RN, Rev Dr Bong SJ, Carly Hyland RN, Dr Ian Marshall AM and Sister Bibianne Prado SPC

My sister, Sammy and I are both registered nurses who work within the cardiothoracic Intensive care unit for St Vincents hospital Sydney.

Nursing is a profession that can take you all around the world, giving you the ability to broaden your care to other countries and nations in need.

My sister and I were both fortunate to be given the chance to accompany Ambassador David Scarf and fellow members of the Order of Malta to Timor-Leste, an opportunity that we were both very excited about.

Our experience in the country of East Timor consisted of travelling around visiting numerous clinics and hospitals. We helped where was needed and most of all learnt a great deal about the current state of health of the country.

During our short stays in such clinics and hospitals it was more than apparent that the health system lacked most things that would be of critical value in order to run and serve the people with both adequate and acceptable in health care systems within Australia. Valuable things such a life saving medication and diagnostic instruments were little to non- existent in most clinics. These clinics worked extremely hard to make do with what was made available for them.

In contrast to the health care environment, the country of Timor-Leste is as picturesque and inspiring country as I’ve ever visited. The Timorese we encountered were both loving and caring, and willing to take time out of their lives to educate my sister and I of the countries rich history and beautiful culture. It is these qualities that provide the strong foundations for their health care system, which helps to supplement their deficiencies identified in the paragraph above.

Upon reflection of our trip to Timor-Leste, this is a country in need of many things in order to have a health system that provides a level of care which one would hope for in a country of their population size. The Order of Malta provides an excellent avenue for individuals all over the world who have the expertise and passion to assist those in need, and we are thankful to have been able to experience the above through their assistance.

It isn’t a matter of how much you can help, or how much you can give, because even the smallest contribution will help this country build a health care system it deserves.

Related articles: Timor Plaza Order of Malta Medical Clinic – project update

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