Policy to Attract Health Workers to Rural PNG

By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The Government is working on a policy to attract health workers to rural areas. The policy is in its final stages and hoped to be implemented in 2019.

The announcement was made by Department of Health HR Manager, Joseph Lipu, in front of 83 graduates at the Mendi School of Nursing 5th graduation ceremony recently.

Mr Lipu told graduates the Health Department through the Government is finalizing the policy to attract health workers to rural areas.

In the past 5 years, health workers have been engaged in mostly urban health centres, the Government is now pushing for graduates to work in rural areas where bulk of the population is, Lipu said.

Lipu added that this will help Government’s plan to reach to rural areas so services can be easily accessed by the community.

“We want remote people to access health services at their doorstep, for too long people in remote areas struggle to access better services. This policy will now see health workers settle in remote communities to provide health services” he said.

The institution has struggled over the years with high enrolments, lack of space, election-related violence and the recent earthquake.

Mendi School of Nursing Principal Sr. Langer says with most learning facilities damaged by the recent earthquake, students and staff will be relocated so maintenance can be done.

Sr. Langer added that the institution will need funding to carry out the relocation exercise and maintenance.

“We will definitely need funding from the Health Department, National Government, Southern Highlands Provincial Government and other donor agencies who have been assisting us over the past 5 years,” said Principal Langer.

This year’s graduation is the first where graduates were also issued their practicing license approved by the Health Department.

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