The National, Monday November 11th, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
NURSES are unhappy with the Heath Department for not sending a representative to the week-long symposium in Mendi, Southern Highlands.
Papua New Guinea Nurses Association president Eimi Kaptigau said nurses were playing a crucial role and a representative should have been present.
Kaptigau said pressures were being faced by the healthcare sector and the health system was denying personnel information on basic patient needs that were discussed during the symposium.
“The important theme was ‘closing the gap’ where the government, health department, stakeholders and general public will work together,” she said.
“We believe that by the year 2014 there will some changes in the health sector as much had been discussed and not all will be addressed immediately but working in partnership was of paramount importance.”
Kaptigau said the health sector experienced mounting pressures which they found difficult to address and after the symposium, they felt that there would be mutual understanding between organisations.
She expressed concern about nurses leaving for mining and the private sector due to unattractive pay packages and poor working conditions. Housing was a major issue, she said. “Nurses should be performing their duties at health centres and aid posts which are currently under the care of community health workers.
“They (nurses) are reluctant to go there because there are no houses for them to live in and poor infrastructure is another factor. While the nurses and the stakeholders were present, the national health department should have come to be with them to hear some of the heartfelt grievances from nurses from the rural areas,” she said.
“We cannot preach a lot to improve the health sector when we cannot mingle with partners and see things for ourselves.”
Kaptigau said arrangements would be made soon for a forum to be held in Port Moresby.