Cuban doctors opposed


DOCTORS in Cuba are trained differently and will not be able to fit in clinically and administratively to the PNG healthcare system, according to Professor Glen Mola.
Mola, the University of PNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences head of Reproductive Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was responding to the Government’s plan to bring in at least 10 doctors from Cuba over the next three months to serve in district hospitals.
It follows talks in Havana last week between a PNG Government delegation led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill which included Health Secretary Pascoe Kase and senior PNG doctors.
Mola told The National yesterday that doctors in Cuba were not trained to work in isolation such as in PNG’s rural and remote health facilities.
“They mostly cannot speak English or Tok Pisin or Motu either,” he said.
“Nor will they understand PNG national standards and treatment protocols that we have designed and taught our health workers to follow.”
Mola said from his experience in working with Cuban doctors, he noted that they branched into specialisation very early in their careers and could not perform outside their area of expertise.
“In PNG, we have trained 44 specialist ObGyns (obstetrics and gynaecology) of whom 34 are nationals,” he said.
“These specialists occupy 90 per cent of the specialist ObGyn posts in the country.
“By the end of next year, we should have filled 100 per cent of the available posts.
“We do not want Cuban specialists coming in to occupy the last remaining available posts for our national graduates to work in.”
He said the Government should instead upgrade the HEO training programme at the Divine Word University.

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