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Doubts raised over viability of TB centres

AUSTRALIAN-FUNDED medical centres in Papua New Guinea will do little to curb the number of people crossing the Torres Strait for tuberculosis treatment, an Australian doctor says.

Cairns-based respiratory specialist, Dr Graham Simpson, said the AusAID funded centres would not be accessible to many remote communities.

"Transport difficulties in the Western Province are huge," he said.

Dr Simpson said it would take some people up to eight hours or 100 litres of fuel to reach the new centres.

"Even if there is fuel, they can't remotely afford it so they just can't get to Daru [island] and Daru can't really get to them."

"So it's a lot easier to nip in a canoe and come over to one of the outer islands."

Source: Australia Network News

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