PAPUA New Guinea has more than 7000 positions still vacant at Government-run health facilities in the country.
According to the 2016 annual health report tabled in parliament last week by Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu stated that out of the 17,878 positions available in government-run health facilities, only 9985 positions were occupied.
The report said the number of vacancies were due to many reasons, which included funding constraints, rural-urban migration, shifting from clinical to administration and sometimes remoteness of rural health centres which did not attract health workers.
“Another reason is that the country has only one medical school that produces only 50 doctors a year, so from 2010 to 2016 only 316 doctors graduated,” the report said.
“Also from 2010 to 2016, only 1364 nurses graduated and 2326 community health workers graduated in the country.”
The report said that the country had only 446 registered medical officers of which 421 were in government-run health facilities.
“The National Capital District has the highest number of health workers with more than 15 per cent of the total population of the health workforce practising at the Port Moresby General Hospital, followed by Central.”
“And Hela has the lowest with only one per cent of the health workforce practising in the province,” the report said.
Sir Puka said the government had started taking steps to address the health workforce crisis in the country.