More young doctors need to be attracted to become specialists in eye care.
Deputy Health Secretary, Doctor Paison Dakulala, says the training of ophthalmologists is important to meet the country’s strategic health plan; for one doctor in each provincial hospital.
Although ophthalmology may not be a speciality area, where many young graduates may lean towards, Dr Dakulala says it’s important to meet National Health Service Standards.
“And so the bottom line is that we need to attract enough number of specialist doctors into this field and be trained.”
There’s a shortage in the number of graduates from Papua New Guinea’s only medical school; and the key lecturers needed to provide training.
At present, PNG’s health sector is served by only 13,000 which is less than the required 60,000.
“We don’t have the numbers to train. Even if we have five to start with but at the end, we may have only one.”
However Doctor Dakulala says capacity can be increased with the adequate funding support from the government.
“Look at the gaps with budget support and help we get from outside, for the people who will come in and serve in PNG.”
Health partners like the Fred Hollows Foundation were also thanked for their continuous support.
“And so we appreciate their help,” Dakulala said.