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Health Secretary says 2013-2018 plan backs increase in training healthcare workers

The National Department of Health has developed the Health Workforce Enhancement Plan 2013-2018, to address the critical decline in health worker numbers.

Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase, said the Enhancement Plan calls for a major increase in training and enrolment at all health training institutions in the Country.

The plan is projected that between 2013 and 2018, an estimated 450 new nurses and 1,000 Community Health Workers must be trained, along with other health workers.

The Health Workforce Enhancement Plan was developed over the current National Health Plan of 2011-2020, after the World Bank reported in 2011 that there was serious implication for critical decline in the number of Nurses and CHWs in PNG.

Mr Kase said the National Health Plan and Vision 2050 of better access to quality health services will not be achieved unless the National Government addresses basic primary health care services in the 89 districts.

He said the health workforce training for the frontline service delivery is a high priority for the Government and the Health Department, as over 80 per cent of PNG live in villages.

Kase said the immediate need is to replace the ageing workforce, and training of critical workforce to help implement the priority programs in the health sector.

Kase told the 13 granduands of the Enga School of Nursing recently, that the implementation of the plan depends on people like them who graduated to serve the people in the rural parts of PNG.

The National Department of Health is now working on a Rural and Remoter Health Workers Retention Guideline.

Kase said this should attract and retain frontline health workers in the rural and remote areas to serve the rural majority.

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