Pacific Health Fund founder Andrew Dent enriched the lives of so many that knew him, often inspiring others to new personal heights. He was a loving husband and father, and was loved and admired by so many.
Andrew qualified as a surgeon early in his career, while working in Britain. He later worked for several years in both Cameroon and Papua New Guinea, where he experienced the need for greater equity in medicine first hand. In 1990 Andrew retrained in Emergency Medicine, a field where he felt better able to deliver total-care – including the psycho-social aspects – to patients as they arrived at a hospital. The parallel themes of humility, equity and total-care influenced the way he conducted his life both inside and outside of hospitals.
At home, his achievements were numerous – from developing paperless medical records to developing and delivering medical education resources at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level in both surgery and emergency medicine. He also campaigned for the rights of junior medical staff, established an Emergency Medicine Research Centre and helped to establish a the St Vincent’s Hi-Fidelity Education Centre.
Andrew continued to help in the field of International Medicine, his work included public health and malaria programs, clinical placements for health workers, assisting with the development of emergency medicine in PNG, and (in concert with Oil Search) the provision of a 24 hour on-call service to many clinics within PNG for many years.
Andrew was a visionary, a tireless advocate for the equitable 'whole-of-health' treatment of all patients, no matter what their station in life or their location on the planet. His legacy lives on through his family and friends, the organisations he has helped to build, and the positive effects he has had on so many others.
Andrew donated his entire earnings from these many years of out-of-hours work to set-up the St Vincent’s Pacific Health Fund. The Fund’s aims are to promote and enable educational opportunities for medical and other health workers in the Pacific region.
Dr Andrew Dent, St Vincent's Emergency Department