By WALLACE KIALA
AS of next year, all specialist medical officers (SMO) holding positions at the Health Department head office will be based in the provinces.
The decision by the management was announced this week by deputy Health Secretary Mark Mauludu and was in line with the department’s target of improving health specialist health care in the provinces.
The positions would be created for them by provincial hospitals.
Mr Mauludu, who accompanied Health Minster Sasa Zibe to Kerema, Gulf province, last weekend to deliver K10 million for Kerema General Hospital upgrading, had urged the people there to ensure that the welfare of SMO and surgeons was looked after so that they could stay longer and better serve people in the provinces and districts.
He said Gulf province was one of the provinces that lacked provision of specialist medical health care and for nearly16 years could not operate as a provincial hospital.
The hospital’s upgrading programme would ensure that necessary hospital equipment were available for SMO to use.
Mr Mauludu said the National Health Plan 2011-20 was aimed at paving the way forward for provinces to effectively implement their provincial health plans, the main part being having adequate SMO.
The plan also focuses on the preliminary establishment of provincial health authorities to fully coordinate health care and related services at the provincial level.
The provincial health authorities must be in place to effectively implement the next 10-year health plan, the plan said.