Cuban doctors could soon be working in rural areas of Papua New Guinea, according to PNG's prime minister.
Peter O'Neill has just returned from visiting Havana where he had discussions with Cuba's President Raul Castro.
They discussed the opportunity of bringing Cuban doctors to PNG to serve in the country's remote areas where Mr O'Neill says people are not receiving adequate healthcare.
He put this down to the reluctance of PNG doctors to work outside of urban areas.
However the 2017 national budget released this month appears to confirm that financial support for rural health services is declining.
Yet PNG is now following a number of other Pacific states including Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, in engaging Cuban doctors or Cuban training for their own doctors.
Mr O'Neill said President Castro was supportive of the proposal for Cuban doctors to work in PNG, and that it was now up to officials to finalise details.
The prime minister praised Cuba for its effective health programmes and systems, saying that they had resulted in an improvement in quality of life, a reduction in infant mortality and an increased life expectancy.
"Papua New Guinea is in a position to learn from this experience and expertise," he explained, "and to apply this to our core national policies of healthcare and education."
"Our national medical training must be intensified, and more doctors and healthcare workers must be available to more people throughout our country," said Mr O'Neill.
While in Havana, the PNG leader met with Cuban pharmaceutical companies producing medication that according to Mr O'Neill was highly suited to the tropical conditions and illnesses found in his country.