Journal of Professional Nursing

“Lik lik sut long han”, Primary Health Care in Papua New Guinea

Martin Woods, RGN, DipN (Pt.A Lond), Tutor (Nursing & Health Studies) Manawatu Polytechnic 

Reference:  Woods, M. (1988). “Lik lik sut long han”, Primary Health Care in Papua New Guinea. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 3(3), 11-20.


For many, perhaps, the concept of Primary Health Care is yet another development in the constant search for a system of health care delivery that reflects the real needs of the population.  For Papuans, Primary Health Care is becoming more than a concept, it is a rapidly developing way of life – a reality that had its beginnings even before Alma Ata in 1978.  We speak of Papua New Guinea as a “developing nation”, but in many ways the usual image of poverty and scarce resources so often associated in the West with such nations is a misnomer.  The United Nations actually classify Papua New Guinea as a middle income country.  Admittedly, its resources are still undergoing development, and the labour force is hardly able to boast of adequate reward for hard physical work. But the ‘wealth’ of a nation does not necessarily have to be measured in dollars and cents. 

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