Demand high for experts: Official


THERE is an increasing demand for psychologists in the country, a consultant says.
Laloki Public Psychiatric Hospital consultant psychiatrist Dr Losavati Daugunu told The National that there were only nine psychiatrists in PNG and six were practising.
“Looking at the total population of Papua New Guinea, you can imagine and with the rise of substance abuse and alcohol abuse, lots of problems in mental illness have arisen in the last five years,” she said.
Daugunu said mental illness had increased due to stress in the change of lifestyle and rate of development and a lot of people were going through mental disturbances.
“The problem is quite big, but we need a lot of hands to carry this out, so it’s very high in demand in my field,” she said.
“So there is going to be a really big need for us to boost manpower in this area, so people of Papua New Guinea can be looked after properly.”
Daugunu said more awareness should be done at the University of Papua New Guinea medical faculty so when students graduated as a general doctor, they could choose psychiatry as their speciality.
“The National Department of Health in the Mental Health Services of Papua New Guinea should be doing its part in promoting it in schools – people will know there is an area in need now so probably they can tune into it,” she said.

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