28 Jul 2011

The WHO to monitor transferral of TB clinics from Torres Strait to PNG

6:45 pm on 28 July 2011

The World Health Organisation is looking at monitoring the transferral of tuberculosis clinics from the Torres Strait to Papua New Guinea.

The newspaper, The National, reports that Australia's decision to move the clinics has been criticised by TB specialists who fear the move could exacerbate the spread of multi-drug-resistant infection.

Until July, the Australian government had been paying the Queensland state government to treat PNG nationals.

But Queensland Health said the funding was inadequate and it could not cater for more TB patients.

Last month, the Australian health department said its priority was to help PNG improve its own health services so that patients did not need to go to Australia.

The WHO denies reports it's intervening but says it's actively involved in discussions with PNG's government.

The WHO says that with appropriate planning and financial support, PNG "will be able to manage TB cases".