Deputy Chairman of the National Health Board, Dr. Mathias Sapuri has welcomed Divine Word University’s initiative to train more doctors who will serve in rural areas.
The program is under the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MBBS.
Dr. Sapuri told EMTV News, that with more doctors’ training school, this would help to improve the primary health care in Papua New Guinea.
“I am glad that Divine Word University has started the MBBS Program and while there are many future challenges, we will ensure outcomes are delivered,”
Dr. Sapuri said part of their proposal to the National Government some years back was to have another training school for doctors, and was glad that Divine Word University has taken the initiative with their resources to start this program.
“That’s was part of our proposal that by 2010, we should have two medical schools. Also by 2010, we should be producing 150 doctors every year. By 2015, we should be reaching 200 doctors per year,” he said.
“Those figures and calculations are based on attritions, retirement, and people dying; and the population growth. So that the number of doctors coming out can meet the population demand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sapuri said the medical school under the University of Papua New Guinea was not producing enough doctors, because there were many issues like lack of facilities and staffing.
Speaking as a former dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Sapuri said that they were also struggling.
“It made the university kept the quota. We were recruiting 30 students every year and then increased the recruitment to 70. We got stuck at the 70 recruitment every year, because of shortage of staff and facilities to train people at the level,”
The message sent to the Prime Minister was the need to support the school, was to increase the facilities.
Dr Sapuri said that Papua New Guinea was far behind in training human resources and, it’s now time to move forward and embrace the change.