UPNG Medical Faculty to become a standalone University

 THE school of medical and health sciences (SMHS) is ready to be a standalone university to produce more medical workers, says executive dean Nakapi Tefuarani.

Tefuarani made this known during an interview with The National recently.

UPNG Medical Faculty to become a standalone University 

“The plan to break the campus away from the main university was in the Government’s medium term development plan made in the ’70s,” he said.

“Since 2017, the Government wanted the SMHS to separate from the main campus but the University of PNG (UPNG) was not happy with the idea so it took the Government to court.”

However, Tefuarani said with the support of the new school council, the process is expected to be completed in September.

“The K6 million that is to be presented by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring would fund the transition process,” he said.

“The new university would have a big role in producing health workers and also increase in the different programmes.

“The dream is not to train enough but to train more so we can market our graduates to other countries.

“It is going to be a huge gain for the medical society in terms of workers’ production, nurses, dentistry and laboratory science.”

Prime Minister James Marape announced the Government’s plans to establish the university last Dec 11.

Marape was speaking at a ball which marked the end of training for the final year medical students’ class of 2022.

He said the Government would ensure a standalone university for medical studies is established by 2025.

Marape said the 2022 cohort was the 50th since the first recited their Hippocratic Oath in Nov 1972.

“In 1972, the medical faculty graduated six medical students and the population was just on three million,” he said.

Marape said the Medical Faculty over the last 50 years had graduated an average of 30 new doctors per year, however, the county’s population had now increased to well over 10 million.

“Our doctor to patient ratio is worrying and we have to address that problem head on,” he said.

“It is absolutely important that the Government invests in the training of doctors to help close the ratio to a more acceptable level.”

Marape said the Government was investing in health facilities and infrastructure and as such the investment must be matched by investment in the human resources which would operate the facilities.

He thanked UPNG vice-chancellor Professor Frank Griffin and chancellor Robert Igara for agreeing to establish the school of medicine and health sciences as a standalone medical university.

The National/PNG Online School

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