Papua New GUinea Doctors are among the most highly paid public servants, earning between K80,000 and K295,000 a year, it has been revealed, the Post COurier reports..
The better pay in better equipped urban hospitals had been highlighted as reasons why doctors could not go and work in rural hospitals.
The low income in the salary scale applies to new and general doctors while the senior and specialist doctors command the top scale.
A doctor querying the notion of training of more doctors to help address the scarcity of doctors in rural areas said this would be a problem as the doctors were the most highly paid public servants and the Government was unable to pay up their entitlements.
He also wanted to know who would be paying the new doctors who would be graduating from the new rural doctors program that the Divine Word University in Madang was starting next year.
"Currently, we doctors are better paid than other public servants, and Government cannot pay all our entitlements,’’ he said.
He queried who would be paying the salaries and entitlements of the newly graduates because the hospitals are currently struggling to employ doctors. "There must be means and ways where we can efficiently utilise what we have to maximise benefits and results.’’
"Will training more doctors, improve the health of our rural communities?"
He said rather than train more doctors, attempts should be made at using the current doctors and health workers efficiently.
According to information received, a starting salary for a doctor employed by the Health Department was about K80,000 a year, inclusive of overtime or on-call allowance, domestic allowance, gratuity, telephone, book and relocation allowances.
The chief specialists at major hospitals like the Port Moresby General Hospital earn about K295,000 a year, inclusive of overtime allowance, domestic allowance, gratuity, vehicle allowance, book allowance, telephone allowance and allowance for utilities.
Reports say that the specialists continue to get these allowances, including on-call after they move to work at the administration office at the Health Department or were no longer seeing patients.