Papua New Guinea's nurses say the country's health system is failing
to attend to basic patient needs.
These concerns have been raised as PNG hosts a week long nurses
symposium to discuss the various pressures on the country's healthcare
PNG Nurses Association President Emi Kaptigau told the situation seems dire.
"We're encountering so many problems, I don't know how we're going to
address them," she said.
She says PNG's health care system is understaffed and under-equipped
to such a degree it can't treat patients properly.
"The basic services of attending to patients as they come and go,
there is lack of manpower and there is lack of supplies, medical
supplies, drugs, equipment and this has affected us so much that we
are not able to effectively meet the need of the people," she said.
"It's just too much for us to bear at this point in time."
Ms Kaptigau says the best nurses in the government system have left
for the private sector and overseas because of the poor working and
"The pay that we are getting is good enough to survive but because of
the livings standards that is so high the pay is gone by the time we
get it so the next week or two we're living on borrowed money," she
She says the nurses have petitioned PNG's secretary for health about
"He's reassured us that he'll look into it but we need to do a proper
paper for him to present to the O'Neill government," she says.
Last Thursday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, also
raised concerns about PNG's healthcare system, saying it needed