2 May 2006

PNG doctor puts shortage down to lack of jobs

3:32 pm on 2 May 2006

A public health doctor in Papua New Guinea says there are not enough jobs available for new recruits.

The Papua New Guinea health minister Sir Peter Barter has expressed his concern over a rapidly declining number of health workers.

Sir Peter says from 2000 to 2003 the number of doctors declined by a third and nursing and other staff by 12 percent.

The secretary of health has been asked to put into place a plan for the expansion of nursing and community health schools next year.

Dr Lesley Kawa says that the government needs to consider funding more positions, as many recruits end up elsewhere.

"So they find it difficult to work with the small positions which they're not supposed to get. So that's why all those specialist doctors are leaving the country and either they are going into private practise, and that's why we're running short of doctors."

Mt Hagen hospital's Dr Lesley Kawa.