29 Apr 2009

PNG doctors say Cubans not answer to health care problems

2:30 pm on 29 April 2009

The Papua New Guinea Doctors' Association says Cuban doctors are not the answer to a doctor shortage in PNG.

The Governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, says he wants to take up a long-standing offer from Cuba and use its doctors to staff Port Moresby's medical centres.

But Mr Parkop says the medical fraternity is opposed to the Cubans being brought in.

Dr Kauve Pomat of the Doctors' Association says PNG is thousands of doctors short of what it needs and his organisation is not opposed to foreign doctors being brought in.

But he says the Cubans are not good enough, not least because of language problems.

"The fact that we are having doctors who are going to have a communication problem. Secondly we already have enough evidence from Cuban doctors having worked in the Pacific and their clinical standard is not up to what is expected."

Cuba provides doctors in a number of Pacific countries, including Kiribati and Solomon Islands.