Paradise Private Hospital has an illustrious past dating back to the pre-independence era when the very first private practise clinic in Port Moresby, in the then-Australian Territory of Papua, was established in 1959 on the site of where the Hospital now stands by Dr Shirley Clifton-Smith – wife of the Director Commonwealth Department of Works.
In 1965, the clinic was bought by Dr Allan Hutchinson who employed a number of esteemed doctors as “assistants” in the mid-seventies including Dr Also Vacca – recently acclaimed (globally) for vacuum-extraction. Dr Allan Hutchinson’s connection to this country and its people ran somewhat deeper, through his wife and her parents – the late Bruce Flynn OBE and late Rita Flynn MBE. The Flynn’s were instrumental in the early establishment of PNG’s business community and sporting fraternity, having made significant contributions to Papua New Guinea both professionally and personally as philanthropists. The late Mr Flynn was a long-time General Manager of SP Brewery, captain and coach of Magani Badilli Rugby Club and was also captain of ‘Papua’ in the annual rugby clashes against New Guinea. The late Mrs Rita Flynn MBE founded netball in the country.
Dr Hutchinson’s developed the clinic into a thriving private practise and was a well-known medical practitioner in Port Moresby’s “pre-independence to post-independence” era. Towards the turn of the eccentric 70s era, the clinic’s ownership changed hands again, when in 1979 Professor Glen Mola OBE purchased the facility through a loan from the Agriculture Bank of PNG. The clinic known as ‘Dr Mola’s Clinic’ became a household name throughout the young state of PNG, along with its five-bed maternity and labour ward, and small operating theatre.
After returning from post graduate studies in the United Kingdom in 1981, Professor Glen Mola expanded the facility into the country’s first private hospital in 1984. The Hospital was staffed by many renowned PNG physicians, including Dr David Mokela, Dr Delma Natera, Dr Steven Webb, Dr Ben Tahija and Dr Dein Danomira. For Professor Mola, however; the inner calling to revert to fulltime practise was strong – which saw his return into the public health system in 1984 as SMO of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nonga Base Hospital in the scenic province (and tourism hub) of East New Britain. He served at Nonga Hospital for two years before returning to Port Moresby to join the faculty team of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1987.
In 1993, Professor Mola forged partnership and shared ownership of the Hospital with colleagues Dr Robin Sios and Dr Misi Lam by selling 70 per cent of shareholding using vendor finance. This was the beginnings of a 25-year long partnership that would see the clinic turned-hospital grow from strength to strength, changing the face of private healthcare in this country.
Over the years the Hospital would grow and prosper under the sound leadership of the three physicians, driven by sheer determination and passion to provide the best for generations of families who, up till today, continue to access PPH services for their healthcare needs.
In 2014, five years short of going three decades of shared ownership and business partnership, Professor Mola and Dr Lam handed over the reins; selling their shareholding to the remaining partner Dr Sios and wife, Janet Sios. PPH then became PNG’s first nationally owned private hospital.
The Hospital (in itself) is a home-grown success story and its 100% acquisition by Namatanai natives Dr Robin Sios OBE and Mrs Janet Sios four years ago is a significant milestone achievement, not only for the Sios family and the health and business community, but also for PNG, and the 8 million people who constitute the largest island nation in the South Pacific. The couple have built the hospital up to a 40 bed facility that includes a maternity wing, 2 private rooms, a high dependency unit and a recently established corporate VIP clinic and cardiac investigations unit. The hospital sees 50,000 outpatients (on average) per year and is staffed by 123 professional medical and non-medical (support) staff.