PAUL BARKER, director of the Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs, says successive governments over the last 20 years haven’t given the health sector the priority it deserves.
The Institute was responding to a World Bank report stating that within 10 years, 50% of the health sector workforce in PNG will have either retired or moved elsewhere.
A consultant for the World Bank, Ian Morris, said staffing in the health workforce is at crisis point. He’s called for a whole of government approach to tackle issues such as training.
Saying the sector had largely been ignored by politicians, Mr Barker said “with inadequate support for human resource capacity we have been going backwards.”
He said there had been a brain drain of PNG medical staff heading to Australia and elsewhere. “So that’s an added challenge,” he said
Mr Barker says in rural areas medical staff numbers are low and many nurses and midwives are in their late fifties or early sixties.
Source: Radio New Zealand International, 5 October