4,000-plus church health workers waiting to be paid


MORE than 4,000 health workers employed under the Church Health Services (CHS) are still waiting to be paid after more than four months, officials say.
The CHS and the Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) are calling on the Health Department to immediately release their outstanding pay and operational grants.
They have threatened to stop work if the problem was not addressed.
Catholic Bishop Francis Meli said the salary and operational grants from February to June as appropriated in the 2020 Budget were yet to be released.
He urged the Government to pay outstanding operational grants for all church-run health worker training schools from 2017 to 2020.
They are giving the Government 15 working days to release the funds.
“An indefinite stop-work will commence at 8am on July 3 unless outstanding salary and operational grants from February to August are paid in full and cleared by the Banks,” he said.
“Government should consider fast tracking of the Allesco payroll rollout to minimise such actions from the church health services.”
Bishop Meli said the churches had their own ethics and values and to stop work or strike was always the last resort.
“But health workers and training schools have run out of patience,” he said.
“We know that it does not sit well with many but we have come to a stage where we have to make a decision for fairness and justice for our health workers nationwide.”


  • About up to 60% of rural health cares are faithfully served by the Church Health Services despite the struggles faced specially in the geography of the health facility settings. Even services provided by the Church Health Workers are worthy compering to public servants.
    Such action by the Government is a slap in the face of the so called hard working Health Workers in the country under Church Health Services.

  • Agreed concern boy; These poor workers need to be paid for serving the people in PNG rural communities. Where Gov’t health services are inaccessible, the churches play a vital role to provide this service. Even better the services provided by CHS in some cases are better than those provided for by the Government.
    Sacrificing to Serve…….

  • This is unacceptable. It has been going on for years now. The government should not take church services for granted. Churches provides quality services in the areas of education and health. There should be no distinctions made because the people who benefit from the church services are not aliens, they are not Catholics only or Lutherans only but full citizens of PNG. Therefore it must be the government’s priority to get this mess fixed up. All Church h health workers should come under government payroll, there cannot be anymore excuses. The least that the Churches can do is to provide the infrastructure, and in most cases they have been doing that. But the government needs to take care of the workers. It is a big shame and a disgrace, that those humble servants have been waiting for 4 months now.
    If the don’t receive of payment, then close all church run hospitals and aidpost. It’s the government’s duty to take care of its citizens so let them take care of them. Sios Bai autim gutnius tasol. Maski long wok marimari.

  • church health workers served in the remote parts of the area where government can not go. they must be paid equally like government health workers. people are dying in remote areas due to stop work. please prime minister and health minister where is your priority, if you want healthy nation to bring back png, think of health workers first.

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