Australian doctors to be flown into PNG’s quake-stricken areas


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says 20 helicopters have now been deployed on Papua New Guinea’s disaster relief operations. Video: EMTV News

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Australian medical doctors will be at earthquake-affected areas soon to give medical aid and complement the local medical efforts to people who need medical help, the Post-Courier reports.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made the announcement yesterday, saying that paperwork was underway currently to fly them in.

Health Minister Sir Puka Temu said the government had asked Canberra for its doctors who were well organised in emergency situations.

“As soon as a clearance from the Medical Board is finalised, these doctors will be brought into the country,” he added.

Parliament is expected to sit this month to pass emergency legislation that allows for the establishment of a restoration authority for the earthquake affected areas, reports EMTV News.

The restoration authority will also govern the spending of funds allocated for the immediate and long-term rebuilding of the Hela, Southern Highlands and Western provinces.

The government may also consider a short-term budget strategy to deal with revenue shortfalls caused by the quake.

According to a United Nations report published on Reliefweb, 544,000 people have been affected in the PNG earthquake and 270,000 are still in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

There is an urgent need for medicine, shelter, food and water. People are terrified, sleeping in the open.

Also, 26,000 people have been displaced in Western Province.

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