Below is what a friend of mine working in Australia had to say regarding PNG doctors moving overseas.
There are now more and more Papua NewGeans and South Pacific islanders who are working in Australia and other countries. Some are here for training with the prospects of heading back, some married and have immigrated, some simply have decided to immigrate permanently overseas.
There is no dought that one does feel a sense of relief when we leave PNG and all its difficulties and “harsh” lifestyle and I am speaking for myself. Life in Australia is so much easier – for entertainment, lifestyle, education for the kids, and for anything you can think of. Some, if not most Papua New Geans when they get used to this and get comforatble it is extremely difficult to head back home, especially when you have kids. No one can blame anyone who decides to take this path, it is a normal human instinct to want the best for your children. On a personal note, I have been in Australia for less then a year and I am learning a lot and hopefully will get into the Pathology College program to give the fellowship a shot. Though I love PNG, and eventually would like to go back to help in the process of development, I also have two girls who I want to have a better life
So what am I saying??
Basically, to be frank, I would be very reluctant to move back to PNG until that move is also a financilly sound move,. I have to be either payed well by the government to look after my family’s needs or I have to be involved in a business venture that gives me that financial freedom. Without these, I would be very reluctant to move back.
I think that it is important to discuss these issues and the issues of PNG health and other issues while overseas, and to keep in constant contact with PNG in order not to loose touch with what is happening back home, so when we do eventually move back we do not get a big shock and we do not become disillusioned.
PNG is complex and one will not achieve anything if you just go in there guns ablasing trying to change the whole system overnight.
*Read more of our discussions at PNG Doctors Internet Group.
To be or not to be : that is the question
jj can you elaborate on that.
I think to the doctor, you have to look after number one first. There is no crime in that and for PNG to continue with the brain drain, well that is the governments fault.
I support any Papua New Guinean that makes it overseas, to me it shows and maintains how we are just as good as anyone in the world. On another level money sent back home is a possibility and that has been seen with other Pacififc Islanders and Philiipinos etc. But sometimes you have to go outside to get a better view of what to do both mentally and financially.
All in all good luck to you and do not feel guilty, there are ways of helping from overseas. For example why do we need overseas aid and technical assistance from international agencies when what if one day we had a PNG medical technical assistance body made up of Papua New Guineans all living overseas who had more access to money and technologies which they directed back home to assist.
This is just an idea, but it is how US Indians in IT propped up and funded allot of their cousins back home in India.
It is not only Doctors, other medical practitioners as well. We are being paid less than what we are supposed to get as per the service we provide
It is the best interest of individual to make it overseas for green pastures. And of course send some help back home.
To all medical practitioners overseas, ‘Never back down’ Aim for the best.
All the best in your endeavors.