Specialists sought for district hospitals

National

By GLENDA AWIKIAK
District hospitals need specialist doctors just like major referral hospitals, an academic says.
Dean of University of PNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences Prof John Vince said district hospitals played a vital role in delivering health services and saving lives.
He said this during the health sector development forum hosted by the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council in Port Moresby yesterday.
“It is the presence of the doctors that will improve most of our indicators, as the bulk of our population receives service from the district hospitals,” Vince said.
“A lot of our district hospitals have closed.
“Some are into renovations without completion.
“The realities of PNG’s health problems go to the district hospitals, including issues of infectious diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV. How much is put into improving them and fitting them with the right workforce?
“Level 6 and 7 hospitals have an important role but will not have major impact on overall mortality and morbidity.
“Well-functioning, appropriately-staffed district hospitals have the potential for making very significant impact.”
Vince said specialist doctors could be seen as expensive but were needed.

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