Health, church to work together


THE Health Department and the Catholic Church health services signed an agreement to work together to deliver services.
CCHS board chairman Archbishop Stephen Reichert said the agreement would allow the department to provide funding to provide better health services, with more transparency and accountability.
He said the church had parishes in all parts of the country and it would be easier to use their connections to provide service directly to the people.
“By having a direct responsibility for funding from the government and the national office and CCHS, we believe that we can introduce our financial governance that will ensure accountability, more responsible use of resources and better outcome,” he said.
Reichert said they wanted to strengthen governance and financial management to allow closer adherence to department and CCHS standards.
“Through this agreement the department and CCHS will commit the network of our services to strengthen standards and compliance to key policies stated in the agreement,” Reichert said.
“Catholic Church Health Service has a long history of providing health care to people and the majority of health care offered in remote rural areas and we already mentioned that we are committed to continue. If possible, we can expand to those areas if funding is available in future.”
Department’s strategy policy executive manager Ken Wai said since the passing of the public-private partnership policy in 2014, they had gone into partnership with  churches, non-governmental organisations and other industries to deliver services.
“CCHS, being a major player in the Christian Health Services, requested through the Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands that they wanted to be on the roll and that decision has been made,” Wai said.
“It has not been easy. We don’t want to talk with too many churches at the partnership level. We have only one main representation to make our work easier. We want to talk to one office – that’s the Christian health services office.
“But knowing that CCHS is a major player in health services, we want to listen to you that we strengthen the relationship.
“This is the head agreement for CCHS as well as Department of Health.”