The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013
By ZACHERY PER
ENGA is the next province to amalgamate health services under the provincial health authority following the signing of an agreement with the National Department of Health.
Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and health secretary Pascoe Kase signed the agreement on June 11, winning praise from people in the health sector in the highlands region.
Leading ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeon and deputy director of curative services with the Western Highlands provincial health authority Dr Michael Dokup expressed appreciation at Ipatas’ vision of improving health services in Enga by signing the agreement with minister Michael Malabag.
“Governor, you have made the right decision and that is a shining example of a leader for the little people. I hope other governors will follow and do the same for their respective provinces,” Dokup said.
He said the Provincial Health Authority (PHA) Act 2009 was passed by parliament to address fragile and failing health services in rural communities.
“I strongly believe that is the way to go in PNG. I congratulate Kase who was instrumental in laying down the platform when he was deputy health secretary policy and planning.
“I’m sure as secretary now, he would like to see PHA succeed.
“I have made several consultant visits to Enga in 2001-2003 and have experienced the frustrations and difficulties faced by both staff and patients.”
“Ipatas has come good again and this is timely for health services in Enga,” he said.
Dokup said this would enable cooperation between hospitals (including churches), all rural health services and NGOs.
He said they would be responsible to address all health indicators in Enga.
“It will pave way to strengthen public-private partnership between donor partners, churches and non-government organisations in health care services.
“It will bring accountability back into our health systems, my sincere congratulations to the people, health workers and Governor of Enga,” Dokup said.
Other provinces that piloted the PHA concept are Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands and Milne Bay.