O’Neill highlights progress in key sectors

National

Reports by SHARLYNE ERI
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill said the Government’s annual budget of K13 billion for the past four years was divided equally in health, education, law and order and infrastructure.
He said health and education were given priority, with K3 billion for free education and K2 billion for the Health Department’s nationwide health plan.
“In 2012, when we got into government, our promise to the nation was very simple. We will fix health problems, we will do our best in education, law and order and infrastructure – those were the four things we promised the nation,” O’Neill said.
On Tuesday, he was in Kerema town for the swearing in of the new Kerema General Hospital (KGH) board and opening of the hospital’s new mess. He also inspected the newly renovated KGH.
“I am proud to say that after four years, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. What is happening here in Kerema Hospital is happening right across the country,” he said.
“We have rebuilt four world-class operation theatres in the Madang General Hospital, a similar one is being opened up in Vanimo and we will be opening one up soon in Kavieng and the Northern.”
O’Neill promised that free education would continue, saying that it was introduced to help parents save money to take care of their families.
He said law and order alone cost close to K1 billion a year and another K1 billion was used as loan repayments with interest and “the balance goes to paying for all the salaries and wages of public servants”.
“K10 million was given to the 89 districts and provinces received K15 million each, depending on the number of districts they had.”
O’Neill told the people that Gulf and Kikori alone received K40 million each to cater for health, education, Law and Order and Infrastructure.

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