Health authority keen to deliver despite snags

Health Watch

DESPITE challenges faced in providing health services, the Sandaun health authority board is determined to ensure it delivers.
Chairman Gerald Gubon, during the authority’s second anniversary and the first annual general meeting for this year in Vanimo last week, said the events were conducted openly as the public had the right to know what was happening and how the authority was progressing.
For good governance and transparency, the health authority used the forum to gather reactions and feedback from different stakeholders that could help them to realign themselves as they moved forward.
“The state of health infrastructure province-wide has deteriorated to appalling conditions over the years because of neglect,” Gubon said.
“The number of skilled and specialist health workers in the local workforce is grossly inadequate and contributing to substandard curative health care services in the province.
“The limited and exhaustive public health services and the near non-existence of a primary health care programme are obstacles to improving health care and services delivery.”
Despite the many challenges, he said the board was focused on aligning itself to the national health plan 2011-2020 goal to strengthen primary health care and improve service delivery to the majority population in rural villages. Other key elements such as a high illiteracy rate, poor road conditions and unreliable air transport system in the province significantly affected health services delivery.
“The geography and difficult environment of our province is enough evidence to remind us of the many challenges,” Gubon said.
He said the report laid out the untangled threads of the health system that it had to forego and capture the inspiration of the provincial health authority concept.
Gubon said health performance indicators highlighted in the report reflected the history of the fragmented health system to pave the way for a new direction the health authority intended to take to reverse negative outcomes.
He said the way forward was to ensure that the four districts of West Sepik saw “physical development flow into the district health centres”.

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