Social Outreach


Through our international health programs, St John of God Health Care is supporting the Timorese government to build healthcare capacity through sustainable, long term development programs.

With more than 40 per cent of its population living below the poverty line, the United Nations recognises Timor-Leste as one of the poorest countries in the world.

For the Timorese people, poor nutrition, high infant mortality and low life expectancy are a daily reality and there is unequal access to adequate health services, clean water and sanitation.

We are proud to have been working with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health to build healthcare capacity since 2004.

About Timor-Leste

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century when it declared independence in May 2002.

A former colony of Portugal, the country is emerging from an oppressed, turbulent and difficult past since invasion and occupation by Indonesia in 1975.

The nation is committed to rebuilding its infrastructure and health sector, which were long neglected by occupying powers.

Healthcare in Timor-Leste

According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development figures, healthcare accounts for just 1.3 per cent of Timor-Leste’s gross domestic product (GDP) – the lowest percentage of GDP health spend in the world.

In 1999, 80 per cent of the health managers in Timor-Leste and all but 20 of its doctors left the country. Not surprisingly, a recent functional analysis of the health sector stated that the managerial capacity of the health sector was extremely low.

For the population of Timor-Leste life remains hard. Most deaths are related to infections, tropical disease, malnutrition, complications in pregnancy or birth. Due to poor quality health provision and patient outcomes, there has historically been a mistrust of healthcare practitioners and facilities. This often translates into patients seeking help too late into the course of their illness.

How we’re helping make a difference

Through our Pathology Development Program and Nursing Development Program, we are working with the Timorese to build healthcare capacity at the country’s national hospital, and only teaching hospital, the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares.

St John of God Health Care’s work in Timor-Leste is proudly supported by ConocoPhillips as operator of the Bayu-Undan Joint Venture:

 ConocoPhillipsBayu Undan logo