Minister asked to be practical

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 5th June 2013

 PEOPLE in the remote Samarai-Murua district have been denied proper health services. 

Samarai-Murua MP Gordon Wesley told Parliament last week that the health system in his district was  appalling, with no doctors.

Wesley called on Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag to address the situation as many people were suffering as result.

“Is the minister aware that the health centre at Samarai has no beds and that mothers are giving birth on the floor?

“There are no doctors operating in Samarai-Murua and the health facilities are deteriorating,” Wesley said.

He said currently there was an acute shortage of doctors because most were moving into private practice as government doctors had poor conditions.

“To boost the morale of our health workers and doctors, we should increase wages and improve their working conditions,” Wesley said. 

“We now have a large investment on health care and the department should consider hiring more professional doctors from abroad and put them on the same salary as the our national doctors.”

Malabag said Samarai-Murua was facing the same prolonged health issues faced by many other districts in the country and urged MPs to work together with the Health Department to address the issues.

He had even commented that many doctors were moving to private practice because of low income and poor conditions.

Even facilities at public hospitals were poor.

Income or wages was an issue that would have to be dealt with by the Public Service Minister Sir Puka Temu, Malabag said.

“I know many doctors are moving to private practice but nowadays doctors working in the public sector are also working in private hospitals after hours,” Malabag said.

“Therefore, there have been numerous complaints that there are no doctors working in the A and E (emergency) ward at night.” 

Malabag assured Wesley that the plight of the Samarai-Murua people and many others around the country had been captured in the national health plan 2012-16 and would be addressed in due course.