Encourage rural doctors with better pay, says MP


MORE doctors would go out and serve in rural and remote parts of the country if the government improved their salary package, an MP says.
Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom raised the issue during in Parliament last week, saying that if the government did not address the issue now, in 10 years, PNG we would face a serious problem in delivering healthcare.
“There are no doctors in the remote and rural areas where the majority of our people live,” Tom said.
“We have to look at improving the packages so that we can attract doctors to serve our people in the rural and remote parts of the country.”
Tom also called on the government to restart the Australian Doctors Fellowship Programme to allow PNG doctors to do their fellowships in Australia.
“We have to start this programme again as the quality of our doctors are dropping,” he said.
Tom said that the country had only one medical school and it was understaffed.
“The lecturers at the medical school are young graduates with no experience.
“All the experienced, well renowned doctors have left because the salary and packages are not good. I am sad to say but we have been producing bad quality of doctors for the last 10 years.”
Tom said the government should look at restructuring the salaries of lecturers so that PNG could bring in or attract experienced medical lecturers to come and teach the next generation of doctors.

One thought on “Encourage rural doctors with better pay, says MP

  • I am glam an MP who is a medical officer himself is raising this in Parliament. Salaries increases in one thing but there are a lot more to be done in the rural areas before our good Rural Doctors can take post in Rural Hospitals or Health Centres. Rural doctors can’t just take up work in the Rural Hospitals/Health Centres just because of salaries increase. Infrastructure are some of the this necessities which needed to be in place in the Districts. From the way things are done in the districts, makes it difficult for such to happen over night. MPs of each district must have physical plan to develop district headquarters. There must be good educational facilities, banks, supermarkets, post office, internet service and mobile phone coverage or better still telephone lines and television coverage and electricity followed by good roads. This infrastructure supports a medical officer to do his or her job as a rural doctor which is very important for the good of the bulk of the population in the rural districts. That’s not all. Building good district hospitals with all basic facilities such as X-Ray, Laboratory Services, O&G, paediatrics, medical and surgical unit compliments the work of a Rural Doctor. And a good accommodation for the person makes it even better. This should be complimented by other government services in the districts to seek support and many other things. Bulk of the DISP funds at the moment is spent unnecessarily on unplanned expenditures. Districts should have long term plans so that it is not diverted every time a new MP is elected. District CEO’s must advice the MP’s convincingly to maintain the long term plan to avoid diversion so that plans are implemented progressively and successes are visible. Thank you.

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