State eyes medical school as stand-alone


THE University of PNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) will become a university in 2018 to address the doctor shortage in the country, executive dean Professor Nakapi Tefuarani says.
It will be called the University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Tefuarani told The National that the long-term plan for the Government was to train more doctors, dentists and health workers.
“The Government wants to convert the SMHS into a stand-alone university by 2018,” he said.
“This will be the best achievement this country has been waiting for.”
Tefuarani said the SMHS could have produced up to 300 doctors per year if the Government had allocated enough into the school in the past 20 years.
“I am aware that the prime minister (Peter O’Neill) and the Government are prepared to improve the infrastructures and facilities at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and make available funds to employ more staff members to teach (there),” he said.
He said the university would be able to produce enough doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, medical laboratory technicians and radiographers and postgraduates for the health workforce in the country in five years’ time.

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