Funding issues for mainline churches affecting health services, workshop told

National

By YVONNE KAMBIBEL
A LACK of funding has always been the main challenge facing mainline churches which are the primary health service providers in Central, a recent workshop highlighted.
This was revealed during the first Central health authority’s (PHA) partners and stakeholders meeting in Port Moresby recently.
It was acknowledged that mainline churches like the Catholic Church, United Church, Seventh-day Adventists, Salvation Army and Lutherans had played a pivotal role in bringing basic medical services to the province.
With the long absence of a provincial hospital yet to be built and a PHA which was only established three years ago, the people of Central have benefited from health services provided by these churches.
During the two-day meeting, representatives of the churches gave overviews about their history, their objectives and some of the common challenges faced over the years.
The National noted that the main obstacle for the churches faced had always been funding.
Without sufficient funding, churches could not do much to improve and extend their services to areas where a growing population was desperate for medical services.
A representative of the Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Dr Cindy Gaso-Steven pointed out that most of the health infrastructure used today were built by the missionaries in pre-independence times.

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