Lifestyle diseases affecting work


LIFESTYLE diseases are affecting productivity in workplaces because of the number of workers getting sick, says Dr Samuel Rumbifa Maima.
He is the medical director of the private health organisation Medline Pacific.
He said half of workers were joining the queues in public clinics and hospitals.
“They are now succumbing to lifestyle diseases. That means they are taking time away from work, so the productivity of that organisation drops,” he said.
“The county has invested a lot of money to educate and raise them to build the capacity and abilities of these Papua New Guineans.
“When they reach 40, their life actually starts because they have acquired the knowledge, experience.
“They have acquired the technical areas and they should be at the peak of their time contributing to nation building and the organisation they serve.
“We are losing a lot of doctors, a lot of businessmen and women, economists, teachers, lawyers, lecturers, men and women to diseases such as cancers, heart attacks and stroke.”
He said the health workforce in PNG was not enough to handle the cases.
“One doctor is equal to 18,000 people, one health worker to 8000. No way we can address the health issue in this country,” he said.
He said these issues would remain until PNG could improve health standards.
“I think our priority in the health sector should be more modeled towards preventative and promoting health and medicine than curative. And this is where we should be focusing on,” he said.