Occupying a military clinic that was abandoned when Indonesian administration withdrew from Timor-Leste, BPC was established by American GP Dr Dan Murphy in 1999 to serve the immediate needs of a population affected by the violence and disruption of that period. Today, BPC is one of the most highly visited and trusted health clinics in the country.
Employing over 80 Timorese staff, the clinic delivers an extensive range of vital services, including maternity and infant care, vaccinations, tuberculosis, malaria and dengue fever treatment, HIV diagnosis and treatment, in-patient and dental services, health outreach and training for local health care workers. It also operates a medical laboratory, pharmacy, kitchen and laundry.
The clinic is located near to the President's Office in Dili, the capital city of Timor-Leste. Dili is a smallish, bustling, coastal town of approximately 200,000 people, including a diverse international expatriate population. It is home to Timor-Leste’s major seaport, international airport and commercial centre.
Many social activities congregate around the cafes, bars and restaurants on the beach and there are excellent local diving and snorkelling opportunities. Several supermarkets, shopping plaza and markets provide locally-grown organic fruit and vegetables and fresh fish is available daily along the waterfront.
Two-thirds of Timor-Leste's population lives in poverty and a third in severe poverty. Bairo Pite Clinic deals with diseases that most Australians would think consigned to history, like tuberculosis and leprosy. HIV and AIDS are a growing problem, malnutrition rates are some of the worst in the world outside Africa, and the maternal death rate is one of the highest in Asia. The Clinic's primary objective is to improve the health of the people of Timor-Leste and it requires technical training, mentorship, and capacity development across a range of specialist services, as well as support for system reviews and public education programs.
BPC staff have been supported over much of the clinic's lifetime by Australian volunteers. During this time, BPC
has successfully evolved from an emergency medical centre to a comprehensive
community healthcare service. It has conducted nearly one million
consultations and been part of training over 1,000 international medical
students, 40 nurses, 26 midwives, and 26 lay-midwives that treat women in