Specialist doctors throughout Papua Province uneven

Specialist Doctors
Secretary of the Papua Provincial Health Office, Dr. Aaron Rumainum in his office at the Papua Health Office. - Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi – Secretary of the Papua Provincial Health Office Aaron Rumainum said the number of specialists in Papua Province was sufficient but their distribution to nine regencies and cities across Papua was not equal.

Aaron said there were currently 231 specialist doctors working in Papua Province. “In Papua Province, I am sure there is no shortage of specialists. Maybe Central Papua, Mountainous Papua and South Papua provinces are still short of specialists,” Aaron told Jubi on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.

He said in Papua Province there were pediatricians (22), pediatric surgeon (1), surgeons (33), obstetricians and gynecologists (28), internists (29), anesthesiologists (18), dermatologists (9), neurologists (10), and urologists (3). In addition, the province also has physiatrists (6), psychiatrists (2), pulmonologists (2), forensic experts (3), clinical nutritionists (2), and cardiologists (3), as well as orthopedists and traumatologists (10), otorhinolaryngologists (8), neurosurgeon (1), thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon (1), clinical pathologists (11), radiologists (11), eye specialists (11), and other specialists (4). While there are 297 general practitioners in Papua Province.

Aaron said that hundreds of specialists and general practitioners were spread across 20 hospitals in Jayapura Regency, Keerom Regency, Sarmi Regency, Mamberamo Raya Regency, Biak Numfor Regency, Supiori Regency, Yapen Islands Regency, Waropen Regency, and Jayapura City.

However, there are two hospitals that do not yet have specialists, namely Hendrik Fintay General Hospital in Sarmi Regency, with only three general practitioners available, and Rodo Fabo General Hospital in Waropen, which only has three general practitioners.

Aaron said each hospital should have at least an internist, pediatrician, surgeon, obstetrician and gynecologist, radiologist, anesthesiologist, and clinical pathologist.

“Regarding specialists in Papua, it is not a matter of lacking the number of specialists but unequal distribution of specialists,” he said.

Aaron said the problem could be solved if the local governments were willing to allocate a budget from Papua’s Special Autonomy Fund to hire specialists, as well as allocating a budget to finance local students to become specialists and general practitioners.

“There must be tools, facilities, and incentives provided by the local governments. Regencies that do not have specialists can use the Special Autonomy Fund. Don’t save it,” he said. (*)

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