Overseas Qualified Medical Doctors In PNG – Are You Being Treated By A Qualified Doctor?

Sometime last year we had a discussion on PNG Doctors Internet Group concerning the registration of overseas qualified medical doctors in Papua New Guinea. This discussion was prompted by media reports, patient complaints, and from our own knowledge about medical doctors who obtained their qualifications overseas (or so it seems) and were practising in PNG only to be later discovered as fraudsters!

This is what one of my colleague had to say – “I am appalled at how easy anybody can get into PNG and practise medicine. Our Medical Board is not stringent on ensuring the person is qualified for the job they are applying for. I have knowledge of non-medical graduates from overseas working as medical officers (paid for at expatriate pay) in some institutions. I also know of people with limited medical knowledge been given the green light to practise medicine in our country. These people are using PNG as a stepping stone to getting into Australia. What I do not know is, at whose expense? Our people?”

So I decided to do a bit of research into the laws governing the registration of overseas qualified medical doctors wishing to practise in PNG. Which was not an easy task I have to admit since I had to read the Medical Registration Act of PNG several times to understand and interpret it correctly.

Here is what I found and it might surprise some of you. 

It does not require non-PNG residents who are medical practitioners working in PNG to be registered. As long as their qualifications (MBBS or MD) is given by a university or college as approved by the Medical Board.

Those who are found practising by fradulent means will pay a fine fee of K2000.00 or serve a prison term of 12 months or both.

If this is the situation in PNG, I wonder what the it is like in other pacific island countries. 


Today (16/03/07) a news item appeared in the National newspaper regarding the above issue and I thought it would be approriate to make a brief mention of it.

You can read the full article here.

Briefly, the PNG Medical Board has noticed a decline in the number or registered medical practioners in PNG and has asked all to be registered.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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16 Responses to Overseas Qualified Medical Doctors In PNG – Are You Being Treated By A Qualified Doctor?

  1. I noticed that this is not the first time you write about the topic. Why have you decided to write about it again?

  2. owner says:

    There have been instances where people come to PNG and practise medicine with fradulent papers.

  3. Mere says:

    I have had stories of called doctors who are actually paramedics are being employed and treating patients like doctors onmining sites as well.


  4. Raepa Lovare says:

    I have a two months old baby with respiratory pneumonia and collapsed left lung who requires a specialist doctor a Pediatric pnumonology who can assess and give right medication. If you have kind heart to assist then,please call me on 76830772 and 73412201 or 72654650 and ask for Mr. Raepa Lovare.

  5. Christine Mapya says:

    I agree to what all have said.I fore one belive that all the medical officers from overseas comming to work in our country should be cleared and proved that they are qualified for the job before practising medecine and dont let our people suffer bay paying huge amount of money for a poor health service…

  6. rodney itaki says:

    I totally agree with you. Having an examination to assess minimum standards is one option. If they pass that they get to register with the PNG Medical Board and practise in PNG. Right now, as long as their medical school is “recognised” by the PNG Medical Board, they are registered to practise legally.

  7. I have a friend who has a heart problem ( hole in the heart). My friend is a clinical student at one of PNG’s top universities but has kept it to oneself until now, I was the first to know. My friend discovered the problems 4years ago. Please I need a heart specialist doctor to help out by contacting me on the following email: btowara@student.dwu.ac.pg. Please help my friend, he is a young aspiring medical student who would save more lives in the long run and therefore am pleading, Please help my friend.

  8. Thank you very much Rodney. God bless you.

  9. Arvin says:

    Hi Bothilda, take your friend with heart problem to see Prof Tefuarani who is organizing the Operation Open Heart Program and if it’s possible your can can be put on the operating list for the 2012 program which starts in first week of August. Cheers. A Karu.

  10. Marie says:

    Hellow there,
    My beloved dad has a GOUT on his foot. It has been bothering him for more than a decade now. Since he is getting old the swollen and the pain is becoming more frequent. It kills me inside to see him in such pain. Anybody know of a top RHEUMATOLOGIST in PNG please let me know. It would be more then appreciated.

  11. david says:

    i am a doctor who has completed in Ukraine(2011) and done my intern , at present working in sri lanka for last one year , i wish to get some updates about working in png as a doctor ,

    • rodney itaki says:

      You should check with respective hospitals either private or public. If you are hired you will have to have the usual paper works e.g. working visa, medical board registration etc before you can practice in PNG. PNG is very short of qualified doctors.


      • david says:

        thank you so much for u r reply sir , i wish i could talk to u personally , how do i can get your contact sir ..!

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