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:
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
A review of health leadership and management capacity in Papua New Guinea (2011)
Incentives for retaining and motivating health workers in Pacific and Asian countries. Human Resources for Health
Human resources for maternal, newborn and child health: from measurement and planning to performance for improved health outcomes.