THIRTY-one nurses from the Philippines who are being recruited by Port Moresby General Hospital to help alleviate the pressure on hospital staff arrived in the country yesterday.
They are part of the first batch of 50 nurses that the hospital plans to bring into the country.
A big welcome awaited them at Jackson’s Airport by a traditional dancing group and representatives of the hospital nurses.
The nurses were then taken to Airways Hotel for breakfast and for an official welcome by the invited guests, hospital board members, the hospital chief executive officer Grant Muddle and his management, including the director of nursing Loa Babona. There were also representatives from the Nurses Association, Nursing Council and the Philippines Embassy.
Mr Muddle said the Philippine nurses were tested, interviewed and selected by a delegation made up of senior hospital nurses, and representatives from the Nursing Council, the Nurses Association and Department of Health representatives.
"It is an exciting time for health care, as these nurses arrive to compliment the hard working and competent PNG nurses working at the hospital. These ‘extra hands’ will assist in taking some of the burden off the nurses they are currently experiencing due to a national nurse shortage," said Mr Muddle.
He said the nurses were to work in all areas of the hospital and have a range of specialised skills to enable them to work in the operating threatre, intensive care unit, critical care unit, in obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery.
Following the free primary health care policy and subsidised specialised care, the hospital is trying its best to temporarily fill the workforce gap by recruiting skilled labour from abroad, to work side by side as the hospital tries to give better health.
Meanwhile, Mr Grant said five more nurses will arrive from abroad on Saturday and a further 14 in the coming weeks. This will make it up to a total of 50 in the first batch.
"The hospital is intending on bringing another 50 nurses from abroad to support the great work our national nurses are doing, and to take some of the pressure off them due to the national nurse shortage," Mr Muddle said.