PNG considering new medical college to train more doctors

2:22 pm on 11 September 2017

Papua New Guinea is considering a new university medical college as it aims to boost the number of doctors and improve healthcare.

Australian anaesthetist, Dr Michael Cooper, said the fifty graduates a year currently produced by the University of PNG is nowhere near enough to meet the country's needs.

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Photo: AFP

He said it takes a very long time to train doctors.

This includes five years of basic training, before several more years of specific extra training for surgeons, anaesthetists and other specialists such as obstetricians.

"Currently in PNG as an example there are four paediatric surgeons and that's taken nearly twenty years of planning to get four paediatric surgeons for eight million people. That's still when you look at the numbers grossly less than what Australia and New Zealand would have," said Michael Cooper.

Dr Cooper said a long term view was needed to supply enough doctors for PNG where some villages have not seen a doctor for over twenty years.

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