For reasons outlined in the email below, what we have been doing to help at the clinic is no longer possible under the current circumstances.
However, we have a plan to continue the valuable work of investing in health in Timor-Leste in a new and exciting form.
Over the next few months the Bairo Pite Team you have been supporting will transition its focus in Timor-Leste from running a single generalist medical clinic in Dili to a big picture approach concentrating on areas of greatest need where we have developed leading capabilities, including malnutrition, maternity, TB, HIV, rheumatic heart disease and Family Medicine.
We believe this change of approach will result in us achieving an even bigger impact on getting better health care to the people of Timor-Leste and see us being able to upskill and capacity build on a much larger scale than we can today.
As many of you will know, we have developed a wonderful team of international and Timorese skilled medical and allied health care workers over the last 6 years and they will transition with us to lead and implement the new work which will be led by our Medical Director, Dr Jeremy Beckett
Through this transition period I will be in regular contact with you as we refine our plans and progressively implement them. I want to keep you well informed of what we are doing and hopefully get you as excited as I am about where we are headed.
We hope that you, as a valued donor, will continue to support us through this.
The current Bairo Pite Clinic (BPC) organisation was formed six years ago led by myself with the essential help of very many talented people whose voluntary commitment has been extraordinary.
During this time, we have seen Bairo Pite Clinic in Timor-Leste transformed through greatly increased fundraising and provision of goods and services in kind – Thanks very much to all of you. Facilities were upgraded extensively, the number of Doctors at the clinic increased dramatically – from mostly Dr Dan Murphy on his own to 15 Doctors today, and other health care worker staffing improved and increased with 12 nurses and 90 other staff now permanently employed at the clinic.
The combined efforts of the Bairo Pite Clinic in Australia and in Timor-Leste have seen the clinic that Dr Dan started transformed into a large and dynamic multidisciplinary health facility that has provided critical and free health care to the people of Timor-Leste.
During the last 2 months the BPCA Board and Medical Advisory Committee have been negotiating with Dr Dan in an attempt to encourage him to transition to a new and more appropriate role within the Bairo Pite Clinic organisation. This was deemed necessary after much careful consideration, as given Dr Dan’s age and outdated style and standard of care provision, it was no longer appropriate or safe for him to continue to provide direct medical care for patients.
BPCA had hoped to work with Dr Dan into the future and further enhance the legacy he has already achieved.
Dr Dan has unfortunately refused to consider a shift to a teaching and advocacy role, and has resisted all attempts at transition. He has continued to treat patients at the Clinic and has engaged the local media and other forums to create a volatile and, at times, hostile environment on the ground at the Clinic. Unfortunately, given the cultural and political context in Timor and the perception of the non-medical public that Dr Murphy provides an acceptable service, BPCA cannot enforce our position. We have therefore had to withdraw our support for Dr Dan from 28th August 2017.
However, the need in Timor-Leste remains great and our passion to make a difference in this beautiful, young, and enthusiastic country remains undiminished.
We now will focus on transitioning our core team with its wealth of experience to an effective in country organisation that support our much bolder plans.
These plans will include training and capacity building across most of the medical and allied health service delivery sectors including trying to stop patients developing the illnesses in the first place by ensuring families know how to care for themselves and how to prevent themselves from becoming ill. Work that aims to ensure that diseases like Tb and HIV do not spread unnecessarily when simple measures could have stopped that and ensure that malnourished children are identified earlier and interventions that work happen effectively before they reach death’s door.
We are already training Timorese Doctors to be good family medicine Doctors in a DFAT assisted program, we are national leaders in the care of malnutrition, TB, HIV and rheumatic heart disease and aim to develop further all the work we are doing in these areas. The close links that we have forged with the Ministry of Health, the Global Fund for Tb, HIV and Malaria and other NGO partners in Timor-Leste put us in a strong position to contribute meaningfully, in partnership with well-established Timorese led clinics.
We ask that you continue your regular donations to Bairo Pite Clinic as your continuing funds will be sorely needed to allow us to successfully transition our services and focus in Timor-Leste and importantly to ensure that the patients presently in our care are appropriately looked after through this transition.
We assure you, as a valued donor and supporter that all monies, goods in kind, or services, that you have donated to the clinic have been and will be used as we said they would, for the ongoing health care of the people of Timor-Leste.
As promised I will come back to you all with regular and more detailed updates as we lock in and refine our plans.
Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.
Dr Chris Fenton
CEO Bairo Pite Clinic