By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has urged the public service to speed up the process of bringing Cuban doctors to PNG to assist in training, medicine and health work.
Cuban President Raul Castro, in a meeting with O’Neill in 2016, had agreed to provide PNG with doctors. But the offer is yet to be realised.
O’Neill said the PNG public service process was too slow in getting clearance for the Cuban doctors to come over.
Cuba had implemented a range of social development policies to improve the quality of life of its citizens through effective health programmes and systems. It has seen improved quality of life, a reduction in infant mortality and an increased life expectancy.
Public Service Minister Elias Kapavore, when asked about the issue and O’Neill’s comment, said Health and HIV-AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu was in a better position to comment.
Questions were sent to Sir Puka yesterday.
The understanding was that PNG will learn from the experience and expertise, and to apply this to national policies on healthcare and education.
Cuban doctors are to serve in remote areas of PNG which have not been receiving adequate health care because local doctors would rather be based in urban areas.
Cuban pharmaceutical companies producing medication “highly suited to the conditions and illnesses” in PNG will provide the relevant medical drugs.
A memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed with the Cuban government to facilitate the recruitment and training priorities.
By HELEN TARAWA