THERE is a fourth doctor in the Papua New Guinea Parliament – Dr Billy Joseph who is the new Nipa-Kutubu MP.
He joins Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom, Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobby Bomareo and Abau MP Dr Sir Puka Temu in Parliament.
The four, out of the 30 medical practitioners who contested, made it through the General Election 2022 (GE22) successfully.
“The reasons doctors get into politics vary.
“But generally, I believe when you work in the hospital, you do not deal only with diseases but also other issues which you want to find solutions for,” he said.
“There are social issues such as gender-based violence, issues relating to development such as people having problems getting to the nearest hospital or health facility because there are no roads.
“Mothers giving birth in the jungles or inside trucks.
“People look at doctors and health workers as the solution to all medical problems. But in reality, we deal with all kinds of problems that people bring to the hospital.”
Joseph replaced Jeffrey Komal as Nipa-Kutubu MP.
“When we had the Coronavirus (Covid-19), it really tested our ability to manage diseases,” he said.
“Our health system is a very fragile and the infrastructure we have like Port Moresby General Hospital was built to cater for 200,000 people. But now you have a million people in the city.
“The facility has not changed but the population has increased and that’s the same story in all parts of our country.”
He also wanted to enter politics because Nipa-Kutubu, despite having the oldest oil and gas projects, “fall well behind the rest of the country in as far as human development indices are concerned”.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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