Wong plans to double workforce


THE National Health Plan 2021-2030 which will be launched in the coming months will ensure that the health workforce in Papua New Guinea is doubled in 10 years, Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong says.
Wong was responding to a series of questions by Pomio MP Elias Kapavore around the low number of health workers in the workforce and being trained yearly to serve an estimated population of nine million that was growing at three per cent annually.
Kapavore highlighted that currently there were 500 medical officers (doctors) in the public health service, a ratio of one doctor for every 8,000 people and around one health worker (nurse) serving 2,000.
He said there were 17,000 positions under the Health Department with only 56 per cent of these roles occupied.
Kapavore said the need to produce more doctors and health workers was urgent.
Wong said the Government was building up the country’s health infrastructure and also working on increasing the number of health workers through the training institutions such as nursing schools.