By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen
The National Department of Health Human Resource Manager, Joseph Lipu, says the Department is working on an incentive program to attract health workers to work in rural areas. Lipu said this at the 3rd Graduation of Enga College of Nursing (ECON) yesterday in Enga Province.
Thirty students graduated with Diploma in General Nursing after completing their three-year study. The incentive program is called the Rural and Remote Health Workers Retention Guidelines. All processes have been approved and it is in its final stages of approval with the Department of Personal Management.
There has been an influx of health workers to work in health facilities in the urban areas due to various reasons, leaving rural and remote clinics abandoned. Mr Lipu told the graduands that health workers will receive incentives from the Treasury Department to work in the rural areas to serve the rural population.
Mr Lipu, on behalf of the National Health Department Secretary and Minister, stated that the National Government has been supporting the nursing school’s infrastructure development to improve the capacity of the school to train more nurses to replace the aging workforce.
Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas, who was the guest of honor says Enga Provincial Government will make sure Enga becomes the Medical and Education hub of PNG. He also thanked the continuous support of the Australian Government for funding ECON’s infrastructure and for providing scholarships to the nursing students.
While the National Health Department may have its programs to attract health workers to work in rural areas, Enga Province through Wabag MP, Dr Lino Tom, and Governor Ipatas have gone a step ahead in setting up their office in Cairns Australia.
They have also arranged for Enga students to study in Australia and get the best education, and also find job employment there.
They will also support colleges in Enga Province, all these to raise the standard of Enga Province, and changing the mentality of its people.
Dr Lino encouraged the graduating students and other continuing students to serve patients with a compassionate heart.
Enga College of Nursing Principal says the school will ensure they produce the best nurses in the country.