Public servants blocked doctors’ recruitment: PM

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has blamed the civil service machinery of “blocking” the recruitment of doctors from Cuba to work in PNG hospitals.
O’Neill told public servants in Goroka on Friday that those blocking the recruitment process were scared of losing their jobs if the Cubans came.
“When we want to bring doctors from outside like Cuban doctors to help in the delivery of health service, the public servants are the ones who are blocking because you are scared that they will get your jobs,” he said.
Cuban President Raul Castro, in a meeting with O’Neill in 2016, had agreed to provide PNG with doctors.
O’Neill said the Government had been pro-active in providing and improving health services, such as the Diagnosis and Surgical Centre he opened in Goroka.
“Despite the economic challenges, we can do it because it is important for us to meet the demands of our communities,” he said.
“The Government is investing heavily in health, education and infrastructure to make sure the people get the maximum benefit and have access to these services.”
He said the whole point of engaging professionals was to deliver quality services with a high standard of facilities and medical care for the citizens.
Chief executive officer of the Eastern Highlands Provincial Hospital Dr Joseph Apa said the management would ensure that the facilities were well taken care of.
Eastern Highland Provincial Health Authority chairman Malcom Smith-Kela urged people who are sick to seek medical help quickly.

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