By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The National News Department will work closely with the Medical Board of Papua New Guinea and its stakeholders to ensure that the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program offered by the Divine Word University (DWU) is achievable.
News Secretary, Pascoe Kase, says that there is a critical need for more doctors in Papua New Guinea and DWU will be supported to ensure their MBBS program is delivered.
Speaking to EMTV News in an exclusive interview, The News Secretary has welcomed the opportunity offered by Divine Word University to train more doctors.
Kase said discussions have been ongoing to support the MBBS program, that will ultimately help address this area of critical need.
“For us as the health department, we do need the services of more doctors and nurses to come into the workforce.
“I think there’s a lot of potential for the institution that is being proposed by the DWU management. We will be considering their proposal next week on May 10,” said Kase.
He added that the health department was aware of the requirements to meet the standard and quality of delivery.
However, with 40 doctors to graduate every year, this figure is insufficient and still cannot cater for PNG’s increasing population.
“But we won’t expect DWU to put everything together in the same year. It will take time before we build up the capacity. So we will be reasonable.
“But at least some minimum requirements that has to be met, in order for the school to start now and then over a period in five, 10 to 20 years, so the school can build up with other requirements from advise of technical experts,” he added.
Kase said the health department is aware of the issues faced by these higher learning institutions and will continue to assist them to improve capacity.