PNG Nurses’ Association president Frederick Kebai says the constant shortage of medicines across the country continues to pose danger for frontline nurses.
He said being in the frontline, nurses were direct receivers of the reaction from the public, especially in situations such as shortage of medical drugs and consumables.
“Patients need treatment and medication when they come to the hospital but when our nurses cannot provide these, it creates conflict between the personnel and patient,” he said.
“Such situation provokes the public although we know it’s not the nurses’ fault for this shortage.
“So the government must try to ensure the availability of drugs and necessary equipment in all health facilities.”
Kebai said there were more than 4,500 (financial member) nurses in the public health or (10,000-plus including the private sector) who continue to face extreme challenges.
PNGNA celebrated its 50 years of existence this year.
Kebai also said there were many health facilities across the country closed, depriving people, especially the most vulnerable, of their basic right to access health care.
“Most of these facilities are closed due to manpower issues but we have many nurses still looking for jobs,” he said.
“The community out there needs health workers but positions are not funded or not created and nurses coming out of schools and colleges are still looking for work.
“This is an important area the government needs to look into.
“Create and fund more positions so as soon as nurses graduate they are absorbed straight into the system in all levels from community post up to health centre and sub-health centre, district hospitals, regional hospitals and level six and seven hospitals,” he said.
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