Rural healthcare top of agenda for O’Neill

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THE leader of the People’s National Congress  (PNC) party and Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill, pictured, has stressed the importance of enhancing rural and remote healthcare services in the country.
“Our government will continue to be focused on further empowering districts and provinces to deliver services and build infrastructure for their people,” O’Neill said last Friday.
“Waigani is the administrative hub of the government but most of our people live in rural areas.
“And it is the people in these communities who need to determine how money is spent in their districts and provinces.
“Over the past five years, our government has been enabling greater autonomy in our regions so that local leaders can make decisions that improve services and infrastructure in local communities.
“For the first time in our history, government is transferring real funding to our districts and provinces,
and this is a big change from decades past.
“When I was first elected to Parliament in 2002, my district received no funding from the government.
“And as the local member, I was frustrated.
“Services were in decline and infrastructure was in ruins, and there was nothing a local member could do about this terrible state of affairs.
“In 2012, our government introduced DSIPs and PSIPs, and for the last five years elected members have been able to work with local authorities to ensure this funding is properly targeted.”

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