Health sector understaffed: Tom


THE health sector needs more workers to improve health services in the country, says Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom.
Tom, a health professional, said there was a shortage of health workers.
“Unfortunately in the last few years, the health system is actually getting backwards. People with a medical background know that the only way to improve the health system in this country is to increase the workforce,” he said.
“Even that has been seen and proven throughout the world. But in PNG, I have been working at the district level with only four staff. You don’t have people working in districts and in the rural areas and it is a challenge.”
He said improving health services was not about building expensive medical facilities and buying a lot of medicine.
“While the Provincial Health Authority concept is a good reform, provinces which have established them have a lot of (staffing) problems. Is the government having any plans to improve the  health workforce in the country?”
Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu said the Government had been trying to address the shortage of health workers. It is building infrastructure to train health professionals.
“Currently, the Government is looking at converting the School of Medicine and Health Science at the University of Papua New Guinea into a standalone medical school — as announced earlier by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,” he said.
“That is one way we are trying to increase our current doctor graduates from 50 to maybe 100 or 150 graduates.”

Leave a Reply