22 Apr 2009

PNG capital lobbies to get doctors from Cuba

1:34 pm on 22 April 2009

The Governor of the Papua New Guinea capital district, Powes Parkop, wants Cuban doctors allowed in to staff re-opened urban health clinics in Port Moresby.

PNG was offered the Cuban doctors nearly three years ago but the then Health Minister, Sir Peter Barter, says his Government was pressured by Canberra to refuse the offer.

Mr Parkop says the PNG Government remains supportive of the idea but some in the medical bureaucracy are against this.

He says he is working to ensure the people in the city and adjacent provinces have improveed access to health services and the revitalising of the health clinics is key to this, but he cannot find local doctors to work in them.

"I know the Cubans' health system is one of the best in the world. The WHO has rated them among the best in the world. Their doctors are deployed in nearly 61 countries around in the world. In our region Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, engage some of these doctors, so I cannot see why Papua New Gunea, [why] we cannot the same type of support from the Government of Cuba."

Powes Parkop,