By Dr Sioni Sialis (MBBS – UPNG) – PNG Doctors Internet Group.
I don’t claim to be an expert at on the MTDS, but it just frustrates me that there are documents like this that the government so nicely wrote up to solve some of our problems which most of us have not read. If doctors have not read this document then I wonder how many other ordinary Papua New Guineans have. If the government is making all these wonderful plans and the people do not know about it, then how good is it? How do we know where the government is heading and how can we as citizens can help? I have not read the Health Plan either but I think I’d like to get my hands on it too, and have a good read.
A plan is all good, but if the people do not know, if they do not take “ownership” of it, or feel that they are part of it then I think it is not worth anything. My thoughts are that we just carrying on an ad hoc basis. Maybe just for 5 years then the next MPs come in and do their own plans. I think we are just going round and round in circles and things will only get worse. Children dying from whooping cough? I would think this would be a thing of the past. In the 80’s the infant mortality rate was probably better than now. Twenty years later and we have the same infant mortality or worse. Back then local clinics, aid posts, health centers were fully staffed and stocked with resources and good support.
I trained under a brilliant pediatrician in Goroka, Associate Prof. Trevor Duke (now Director – Centre for International Child Health). And I remember Prof. Duke saying that all the good, hard and long hours we work in the hospitals were just “band aid treatment”. He mentioned that the real deal was to build up again the aid post, clinics and health centers and get a good immunization coverage rate – at least more than 85%.
I wonder if that is in our health plan. I have a feeling it is there. But I think some of these plans are really good but if you do not have the “arm” to work it then all it is, is just a plan. So colleagues and friends where are we going? Do we all just get our qualifications and leave for overseas or stay and work hard in developing our country? What can we do for our country?? That is the million dollar question. Maybe that is one of the great thing about this blog where we can off load some these things for other great minds to get together and find the solution and having you all discuss many of these issues from all over the world.