IN the last couple of days, there has been a lot hype and discussions on all fronts, including the Government, on the recruitment of Cuban doctors.
The Government of the day blames its own systems for the hindrance to delivery.
The National Doctors’ Association (NDA) was also on this diplomacy visit to Cuba in Nov 2016.
It was in this visit that some very important undertakings were made and an MOU between the two countries was signed.
To date, all of what was agreed upon have not come to fruition. Unfortunately.
If it had, it would have benefited Papua New Guinea in the many aspects contained in the MOU, besides the trial to get 20-30 Cuban doctors to work in 10 district hospitals in the country.
The experiences learnt from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, East Timor, and Africa led to the NDA proposing for a trial of only 20-30 Cuban doctors.
NDA also proposed to the PNG Government team on the ground at State House in Cuba to turn the School of Medicine and Health Sciences campus into a stand-alone PNG University of Medicine and Health Science.
Separate funding mechanism would make this medical school reach its goals and objectives.
The medical school is one of the best in the region, however, it is ill-equipped.
The hindrance to all get these done are;
- Department of Personnel Management does not recognise the MOU;
- University of PNG refuses to let the Medical and Health Sciences campus become its own university; and
- The Health Department not getting all stakeholders to effect the PNG-Cuba Health MOU.
NDA will only support what was initially discussed and agreed upon.
Any deviation, such as bringing in 300 Cuban doctors, will not sit well with the association.
The majority of national doctors working in PNG are members of this association.
Dr James Naipao