The National Health Department has approved the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery or MBBS Program, offered by Catholic educational institution, Divine Word University.
Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase, says approval was granted considering the human resource crisis of the health sector, and the critical need for more doctors to serve in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Kase says the workforce number is insufficient to cater for the population health requirements.
“So we are happy as a department, that Divine Word University has been given the approval. As a policy, the technical assessments has to be done on a yearly basis by experts who will be invited to assist the schools,
“But for now NDoH is comfortable with the setup to commence, so that the necessary requirements for such a medical school can be put in place to meet the standards. That one day we will be happy that we have a second medical school,” said Kase.
Mr Kase said that the country’s medical schools, like the University of Papua New Guinea were not graduating enough doctors.
For this reason, they have approved Divine Word University’s request, because there is a dire need for more doctors in the country.
“We have a number of meetings so far. We know that setting up of a school or a big institution will not meet all the standards in day one but take years to establish those processes,” he said.
Mr Kase said the National Health Department will continue to monitor the MBBS Program to its standard.
In the meantime, a Government delegation headed by the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, is in Cuba to look at training for our health workers.
This will also see the recruitment of specialist doctors who can serve in Papua New Guinea’s rural areas.