Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea suffers from a critical shortage of human resources for health. Most recent estimates of health worker densities reflect 0.5 physicians per 10,000 population and 5.3 nurses per 10,000 population (WHO, 2008). Health services in Papua New Guinea are primarily funded by the federal government.

The health workforce is characterized by:

  • an aging workforce
  • low numbers of critical cadres, such as midwives and community health workers
  • a de-motivated workforce due to poor working conditions including low wages and poor physical infrastructure
  • insufficient training capacity to produce the number of health workers to meet population needs
  • maldistribution of specialist clinical and technical skills, where 30% of skilled health professionals occupy administrative and management positions.

Major challenges to HRH development include: a high level of fragmentation in the institutional and fiscal relationships between national, provincial, and lower levels of government; and an unclear allocation of responsibilities for service delivery. Papua New Guinea recently developed a new National Health Plan (2011-2020) that is meant to address some of the aforementioned challenges.

Key HRH objectives in the plan include:

  • improving service delivery including reviewing current health worker distribution, redistributing workers by skill set, increasing skill mix, introducing incentive schemes, and ensuring clinical supervision in accordance with national health standards;
  • strengthening partnerships and coordination with stakeholders including introducing a National Public Private Partnership Policy; and
  • strengthening health systems and governance including developing a National HRH Policy and Plan, capacity building of training institutions to reduce attrition rates and provide appropriate health worker cadres, increasing the output of qualified health workers to meet population needs such as increasing the number of nurses, midwives, and community health workers, developing and implementing an HRH information system, and developing workforce recruitment strategies.

COUNTRY COORDINATION AND FACILITATION (CCF) IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA:

CCF phases’ description and recommendations

Click on graph to read more about the CCF phases

The Country Coordination and Facilitation principles and process have been introduced to PNG through its participation in an orientation meeting, but due to the reforms and other administrative issue within the MOH, the CCF process is still awaited to be launched in true spirits.

HEALTH WORKFORCE DATA

HUMAN RESOURCES FOR HEALTH PLAN

Papua New Guinea is expected to start the HRH planning process soon.

HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGIES / PLANS

COUNTRY CASE STUDIES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS


ALLIANCE MEMBERS WORKING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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KAMPALA DECLARATION AND AGENDA FOR GLOBAL ACTION PROGRESS

KD/AGA Progress graph: Papua New Guinea

COUNTRY MAP:

STATISTICS:

Total population: 6,732,0000
Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 2,030
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 62/65

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