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Port Moresby
January 22, 2021

Dr Mills: PNG’s Rural Population Needs Doctors

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The lack of concentration, attention and subsequent expenditure of Papua New Guinea’s health system will drive away the interest of doctors, to serve in rural communities of the country.

This was highlighted at the twenty second, National Health Conference in Port Moresby, by the President of PNG’s Society for Rural and Remote Health.

In his presentation titled, ‘Doctors In the Bush – Are We Able to Climb The Mountain?’, Dr Mills spoke on doctors training and placing in rural hospitals around Papua New Guinea.

Doctors are critical and essential element of rural health services but aren’t found anywhere in rural communities of the country. 

Dr Mills stated PNG with a rural population needs doctors, instead curative health services are provided by community health workers.

Early emphasis on rural training said Dr Mills hasn’t been sustained in, with rural exposure being decreased both in time and quality.

Accurate statistics on the medical workforce distribution in PNG are wanting, with majority of doctors working in urban settings.

To increase participation in the rural medical workforce, Dr Mills recommended to the National Health Department to introduce doctors bonding schemes, recruitment to undergraduate medical training from students with a rural background and financial incentives to be provided.


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