2 May 2006

PNG doctor says graduates go overseas because not enough jobs funded by Government

8:22 pm on 2 May 2006

A public health doctor in Papua New Guinea says the country loses its skilled medical workers overseas because there are not enough jobs for graduates.

The Papua New Guinea health minister Sir Peter Barter says he is terrified at the impact the rapidly declining number of health workers will have on the provision of services.

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

He has called for a plan on how to expand training services starting next year.

But Dr Lesley Kawa, of Mt Hagen hospital, says the government has to fund more jobs because some recruits are forced overseas.

"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.