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Out of my depth in East Timor

Geoffrey C Mullins
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (11): 664-665.
Published online: 7 December 2009

“I vont to do an emergency caesar, quick!” Andre’s voice crackled into my heavy, hand-held emergency telephone, which I had not yet mastered. Andre was a tall, good-natured Dutch general practitioner who had been working at Dili National Hospital for over a year and did much of the obstetrics when the hospital lacked a specialist obstetrician (a frequent occurrence). I had warmed to him immediately; he was one of the very few people employed in the hospital who spoke English, and he had an air of confidence that was reassuring. He told me that the operating room was already preparing for the procedure, he would be there in 30 minutes, and he hoped I could have the patient anaesthetised and ready by that time.

  • Geoffrey C Mullins

  • School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, WA.

Correspondence: gmullins@it.net.au

Acknowledgements: 

Thanks to Mr Robert Dougall for the illustration.

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