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PNG Health Minister Urges Doctors' Association To Exercise Caution

Papua New Guinea Health Minister Elias Kapavore is calling on executives of the National Doctors Association to exercise caution in its release of information that they are not authorised to release.

His comments come after the recent tussle between Health Secretary Pascoe Kase and an NDA executive on social media.

Secretary of NDA, Dr Sam Yockopua, who is also the head of emergency at the Port Moresby General Hospital, recently reported that there was no iodine, no crepe bandages, no orthopedic padding, no gauze bandages as well as a shortage in other medicines.

“This is as at 5:07am, Saturday 10th August 2019. If you do not believe me. This is from my team on the ground trying to save lives under painstaking difficult conditions. I will resign if my campaign to remove the Health Secretary and key members of SEM (senior executive management) becomes unsuccessful.”

The NDA is of the view that leaders in the business of health must have a very good acumen in the business of health at a broad length, stressing that persons with no "hands on patient care experience will find it uncomfortable to advise on direct patient care (National Health Service Standards) and operational matters".

On the other hand, Minister Kapavore said: “I must say that the department, despite many challenges, is doing its best to ensure that quality medicines are brought into the country.

“Recently, there have been many incorrect and misleading information to the public and social media by an executive of the National Doctors Association. Such articles will only create unnecessary panic amongst the general public and must be corrected to assure our people that the Government, through the National Department of Health, is working hard to ensure that basic and quality lifesaving medicines are available.

“I appeal to the NDA not to frustrate the procurement processes for medicines as any further delays to the already prolong delays encountered, we will be facing critical medicines shortages. There are established legal processes for checks and balance that must be used to address any concerns.”

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