22 Mar 2013

PNG public hospital suffers nursing shortage

3:17 pm on 22 March 2013

The head of Port Moresby General Hospital in Papua New Guinea says the country is finding it hard to fill long-standing vacancies because of competition with the mining sector.

Port Moresby General Hospital alone is still seeking 300 more nurses to fill its vacancies, despite advertising the positions last year.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Sam Vegogo, says the country's hospitals are short of health workers because many are seeking better jobs elsewhere.

"There's a mining boom at the moment, oil and gas. And so you know whatever we have, there's a big competition in the country with the private sector and the public hospitals with the few nurses that we have. And it creates a big gap."

Sam Vegogo says four nurses from the Philippines were brought in during the holiday period to help ease the shortage, but they were sent home after it was discovered they were not registered under the Nurses Council.