By OGIA MIAMEL
THE Government is setting up health authorities in the provinces so that they can manage their own health systems, an official says.
Department of Health strategy policy executive manager Ken Wai said they would sign agreements with individual provinces to decentralise the health system and leave the responsibility of managing them to individual provinces.
He said New Ireland and Hela had signed up to have their health authorities. East Sepik and Northern are next.
He said provinces could manage their own health systems depending on their needs.
Wai last week attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Catholic Church Health Services.
Health Minister Michael Malabag said during the recent launching of the Hela Provincial Health Authority board that it would remove barriers and put in place an effective health system for the people of Hela.
It is a health sector reform initiative to ensure that health in the provinces should be delivered under the control of the board.
Health standards service deputy secretary Dr Paison Dakulala said the economy was being affected by the cash flow issue.
“The budget for Christian Health Services decreased to about K148 million,” he said.
“But there has been a (further) reduction of K47 million. So this year it is about K108 million.
“Everyone is feeling the pinch not just yourself. It’s not easy.
“We will have to go through this painful experience and restructure to better align and deal with whatever we are trying to do.”
By OGIA MIAMEL