Dr Dan Murphy (Founder of Bairo Pite Clinic) arrived in Timor-Leste in 1998 (then known as East Timor). Overcome by the hardship and suffering of the Timorese he was sorely confronted by the severe lack of medical services in a country torn apart by bloodshed and violence.
With the withdrawal of the Indonesian militia, the Timorese health service was in ruins. 35% of all health facilities had been destroyed, supplies looted, equipment rendered useless and with the majority of medical workers evacuated – the country’s central health administration had been destroyed and with it, hope for thousands of critically ill and injured Timorese.
Faced with this desperate need, Dr Dan set up a makeshift clinic in 1999 in an abandoned Indonesian military clinic located among the ruins of the Dili, suburb of Bairo Pite. With no real support, he rummaged his way through the ruins in the hope of finding useable equipment and medical supplies to tend to the thousands of returning refugees suffering from the injuries of war, dysentery, starvation, tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition.
At the time, Dr Dan was the only non-Indonesian doctor working in Timor-Leste providing essential, life-saving medical services. Sixty thousand refugees came down from the hills. Many were seriously ill or wounded. Many did not survive.
As the violence subsided, thanks to the support of volunteer doctors and medical personnel and the significant financial contributions from individuals and organisations from around the world, the Bairo Pite Clinic took form and began to thrive continuously adapting itself to the changing needs of the Timorese community.
Since our inception, the Clinic has successfully evolved from being an emergency medical centre to a comprehensive community healthcare service that has conducted nearly one million consultations, and been part of training over:
- 1000 international medical students
- 40 nurses
- 26 midwives
- 26 lay-midwives that treat women in remote villages.
Today Bairo Pite Clinic is under the leadership of Medical Director Dr Jeremy Beckett. We employ a team of over 90 Timorese staff, a clinic manager and a second senior doctor and many volunteer Doctors (including internationals) who care for an average of 200 outpatients per day, delivering more than 100 babies per month and treating 2500 patients in emergency. The Clinic has 2,000 admissions annually. BPC diagnoses and treats more TB cases than any other facility in Timor-Léste.
Bairo Pite Clinic is governed by a voluntary Australian Board.
BPC is an essential, free healthcare service funded by donations and remains one of the most trusted and highly visited healthcare clinics in the country.