I have been working in the Federated States of Micronesia for nearly 12 months now. I am employed as a General Physician doing outpatient and emergency room coverage. I also sometimes help the medical laboratory scientist read Pap smear slides and peripheral blood smears (I was training to be a Pathologist before coming to Micronesia). I also sometimes help the Public Health Division with disease surveillance and research. And I see the great need for health professionals to come work out here to help the health sector. There is shortage of workforce within the health sector.
And I began thinking about why movement of workforce within the Island States is limited. Papua New Guinea being the biggest country within the Pacific there is little movement of skilled workforce from PNG moving to work in other smaller Pacific Island countries. There may be many reasons for this – maybe lack of awareness, do not know who to contact or how to get a job within the other Pacific Island countries. I would have thought that within the member countries of the Pacific Island Forum and Melanesia Spear Hear Group, there should be some agreement among the member countries to allow skilled workforce to move freely among member countries to share skill workforce.
Fiji has done a great job of exporting skilled workforce within the Pacific. You will find Fijians working in every Pacific Island Countries with a good community within where they work. I think PNG can see what Fiji is doing and emulate their success in supplying skilled workforce to other small Island States who have shortage in skilled workforce.
The Pacific Island Countries share similar culture, tradition and history and creating an avenue for the movement of skilled workforce to move within Pacific Island Countries will allow sharing of human resources and transfer of technical knowledge and skills to host countries.