Temu defends PHA concept

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HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu has defended the Provincial Health Authority (PHA) concept in provinces, saying it isdesigned to improve health services.
He was responding to concerns raised by West New Britain Governor Sasindra Muthuvel that the PHA seemed to be concentrating only provincial hospitals and neglecting rural health centres and aid posts.
Muthuvel said it had created confusion over which authority — provincial government or PHA — should be looking after rural health posts and district hospitals.
Sir Puka said the PHA was the best option for effective healthcare service delivery in the provinces and the districts although it was not planned and implemented properly.
“The PHA Act was passed in 2009 and since then, only 10 PHA were established. I have a mid-term review of the 10 PHA which highlighted (their) effectiveness.”
He said there were two separate arrangements for managing health services which should come under one authority.
“Public hospitals in every province has their own roles under the hospital board. And rural health like aid post, community health centre and district hospital come under provincial government,” Sir Puka said.
“So where provinces that does not have PHA, rural health authorities operate by themselves. I want to remove these system and put them all under PHA.”
Sir Puka said they hoped to establish the PHA in all provinces by June next year.
“I believe that one system is better that have two or three systems to save costs and improve efficiency,” he said.

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