Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Papua New Guinea needs expat doctors

MORE foreign doctors will be recruited to cater for the current shortage in the country, Health Department secretary Pascoe Kase says.
He said the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) School of Medicine was not producing enough doctors, forcing the department to recruit foreign doctors as an interim measure.
“We have been recruiting doctors from overseas for many years but we want to increase the numbers to help the critical shortage,” Kase told The National yesterday.
He said the department was working with the UPNG to advocate for good funding to educate more doctors.
“We want the university to increase their capacity to train more doctors,” Kase said.
“So this means that we have to go abroad and engage nurses and doctors to come and help out in our hospitals and deliver health services to our people while we negotiate for more money to build up the capacity of the university to train more doctors.
“Just like the nurses, we found money so we pumped it into the nursing schools and they have expanded the classrooms, the machines and the dormitories and they can now cater for extra students.”
He said nursing schools came under the department so it was easier to allocate funds.
“But the university’s medical school does not come under the Health Department, it comes under University of PNG council and they manage their budget through the university council,” Kase said.
“So we in Health would very much advocate for them to be funded a bit more so that the capacity of the medical school can be increased to take more students, maybe a hundred or even 200.
“But that’s an issue that we are still discussing.”
Kase said a technical team would be sent to Cuba or India where PNG could engage doctors that were trained under the British system and who understood the country’s needs.