PNG HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Dr Lino Tom is concerned about the shortage of doctors and hopes the 40 doctors who unsuccessfully contested the General Election 2022 (GE22) be re-employed.
Public Service Minister Joseph Sungi earlier this month said public servants who contested the GE22 would not be re-employed in the next five years.
Sungi was referring to the 40 doctors seeking re-employment after unsuccessfully contesting the GE22.
He wanted Dr Tom to explain whether the shortage of doctors was affecting the health service, and whether he would be seeking a review of the Public Service Management Act (PSMA) which stops unsuccessful candidates from being reemployed within the next five years.
Dr Tom said he would release a statement on the issue.
“I have already raised this issue with the Minister for Public Service and we will be looking at a few options, one which is the amendment (to the PSMA),” he said.
Pomio MP and former Health Minister Elias Kapavore said there was a “serious shortfall in manpower, especially the demand for medical officers”.
“Currently we have about 500 medical officers serving an estimated population of nine million,” he said.
“In comparative ratio, that’s 0.07 medical officers per 1,000 people – well below the 2017 average among small Pacific Islands (0.5). The Health Department is faced with critical shortages of clinical staff.”
Kapavore said the Health Department should be allowed to conduct a case by case review and make recommendations to Personal Management Department and Public Service Minister on special considerations.
He said the amendment must be reviewed and repealed.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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