PNG PM Marape Assures Medical Graduates of Employment Opportunities, Emphasizes Need for Expanded Healthcare Capacity

 In a significant address to 356 graduates from the School of Medicine and Health Science Faculty of the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Prime Minister James Marape underscored the government's commitment to ensuring employment for medical professionals amidst a pressing need for expanded healthcare capacity nationwide.

Prime Minister Marape conveyed, "Government will pick you up because we need more nurses and more doctors in our country," assuring the graduates of imminent employment opportunities. He emphasized that "employment is almost guaranteed" for each graduate within the School of Medicine and Health Science, describing it as more than sufficient.

Acting vice-chancellor of UPNG, Dr. Cecelia Nembou, highlighted the significant role of nurses, especially noting that the majority of women graduates were nurses. Dr. Nembou emphasized the vital contribution of nurses to the healthcare system, describing them as the backbone of health services in Papua New Guinea.

Of the 350 graduates receiving Masters, higher diplomas, diplomas, and certificates, 191 were women, reflecting the growing prominence of women in the healthcare profession.

Prime Minister Marape acknowledged the government's investment in enhancing the capacity of educational institutions, particularly the School of Medicine and Health Science, with over K40 million allocated in the past three years. However, he also pointed out the existing disparity in healthcare personnel-to-population ratio, citing the World Health Organization's recommended ratio of one doctor to 1,000 people, a standard Papua New Guinea falls significantly short of.

Marape reiterated the government's commitment to bridging this gap, outlining plans to increase the production of doctors, nurses, and clinicians to meet international standards. He urged collaboration between the university council and stakeholders to explore the establishment of a stand-alone medical university, emphasizing the importance of training more healthcare professionals to address the nation's healthcare needs effectively.

The Prime Minister's address served as a clarion call for concerted efforts towards bolstering Papua New Guinea's healthcare system and ensuring the availability of adequate medical personnel to serve the population's needs.

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