The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has reaffirmed the importance of working with global partners to enhance healthcare delivery in the nation.
In the past week the Prime Minister has met with senior representatives of the World Health Organisation, health officials from the Chinese Government and in November will travel to Cuba to discuss options for bringing more doctors to the country.
“Disease and illness do not observe borders, and we in Papua New Guinea must have an open policy to bring in expertise and skills where we can find them around the world,” PM O’Neill said.
“Expanding universal healthcare is a core policy of our Government, and we are working to increase the number of healthcare professionals that serve our people.
“We have increased the number of young doctors and nurses coming through our system, and we are talking with our partners overseas.
“We will continue discussion with Cuba on the prospect for bringing doctors to work in our districts.
“I also met today with representatives from China’s Health Department who shared their experience in dealing with Malaria in Africa.”
In a meeting with Dr Shin Young-soo, the World Health Organization's Regional Director for the Western Pacific, the Prime Minister shared an update on current healthcare policy developments in the nation and the ongoing desire to further engage with the WHO.
“The programs delivered by the World Health Organisaintion have made a real difference in our country,” the Prime Minister said.
“This includes the Global Polio Eradication Initiative that is spearheaded by the World Health Organisation.
“The initiative is an important step towards a polio-free world.”
The Prime Minister said the program that has been rolled out in the current term of Government has is having successes, but more work is needed.
“We have changed the way healthcare is delivered in Papua New Guinea.
“You can see this in the way we have refurbished and restored many of our hospitals.
“The change that has occurred in Port Moresby General Hospital in the past few years is just one example.
“We still have a way to go, but we are making progress and this is keeping more of our people alive and families in good health.
“Hospitals are now getting direct funding, so we are not seeing the wastage that was occurring when the bureaucracy managed the funding.
“These resources are now being used to build new infrastructure, new operating theatres and new wards.”
Images: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Health Minister Michael Malabag, and Health Secretary Kase Pascoe welcome Dr Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific, and his delegation in Port Moresby last week.