The question of whether Papua New Guinea should have more specialist doctors, is a concern for the improvement of primary health care.
Dr. Mathias Sapuri, a former dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea, was concerned about this, saying:” investments must target training for more specialist doctors in areas like neurology and many others.”
Dr. Sapuri who is also the Deputy Chairman of the National Health Board said that Papua New Guinea needs more specialist doctors to occupy provincial hospitals around the country.
He says, the National Government needs to invest in the training of more specialist doctors to serve the people.
“That it’s also a concern that there are not many specialists in Papua New Guinea. At the moment, the specialists are centred on main teaching hospitals in the country, with very few specialists in the provincial hospitals,” Dr. Sapuri said.
Because Papua New Guinea doesn’t have more specialist doctors, the only option available is to recruit from overseas which is costly.
“When Papua New Guinea has its stand-alone medical school, it will have to meet the demand of more specialist doctors who will serve in the provincial hospitals.
“But again the same thing, meantime we have to recruit from overseas to fill in the gaps, until we recruit our own,”