During the presentation today, Health Minister Elias Kapavore said the medical symposium is an important platform where critical research and papers are presented in an effort to better PNG’s health indicators.
PNG’s 55th Annual Medical Symposium will be held in Port Moresby from 1st - 6th September with the theme: “Health Education”. The objective is to address the poor health indicators by transforming the PNG Health workforce training to meet excellent standards and hence, meet PNG Vision 2050.
“Health is a continuous challenge; they find new diseases every year,” Kapavore said. “And the medicine continues to change every year. We must be kept updated with some of the changes that are happening. And the research symposium allows these kind of presentations to come through.”
On behalf of the Department of Health, Minister Kapavore presented a cheque of K100,000 to the patron of the 2019 Medical Symposium and Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru.
Minister Maru said the National Planning Department had initially contributed K300,000, on behalf of the government, to the symposium.
“Now I need to provide rationale behind why we have decided to sponsor this particular one in a very special way,” Maru stated.
“Currently we are short of medical workers throughout the country. From the figures I have, we are short by about 2,800 nurses. Our doctor to population ratio is sitting at 17,000 people to one doctor.
“When you compare Australia it’s 2.5 doctors to a thousand, Fiji, a doctor to a thousand. If we are going to improve our health indicators, there is no way we can do it on the back of not having people, not having specialists, equipment like scanners in the district, we can’t do it.”
Minister Maru then urged the Health Department to use the symposium to critically look at the manpower requirements of today and tomorrow, and how to reform the training of medical professionals to meet the current and future needs of PNG’s growing population.
(Health Minister Elias Kapavore, left, with patron of the 2019 Medical Symposium and Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru)