High doctors’ fees cause health indices to rise

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Health indices continue to soar over a 12-month period due to increase in fees charged by private medical practitioners in Port Moresby and Lae, according to National Statistical Office (NSO).
The office stated that health indices increased by 2.1 per cent from the June quarter this year and 16.7 per cent from the 2017 Sept quarter.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released yesterday also indicated average price movements of goods and services that are consumed and produced by households in the country compared over the period of June to Sept 2018 and the Sept quarter of 2017 to Sept quarter of 2018.
Acting National Statistician Michael Kumung said: “NSO has measured a total of 300 items in the CPI basket which are classified into 12 expenditure groups, according to UN classification standards, and have measured the weighted index of these items to give us the percentage change over time.
“For this, we note that there has been a moderate inflation of 1.1 per cent from the June quarter and 4.8 per cent within the 12-month period from Sept 2018.”
Twelve expenditure groups measured were:

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages;
  • alcoholic beverages, tobacco and betelnut;
  • clothing and footwear;
  • housing;
  • household equipment;
  • transport;
  • accommodation;
  • health;
  • recreation;
  • education;
  • restaurants and hotels; and
  • Miscellaneous items.

Kumung said from this classification, the most-changed CPI item in a 12-month reporting period was health.
He said clothing and footwear experienced an increased index of 1.1 per cent from June quarter 2018 and 9.5 per cent index increase due to price increases in the sewing items by 3.1 per cent and footwear by 2.3 per cent.
Kumung said the food and non-alcoholic beverage index had decreased by 0.2 per cent, thus indicated on the local supply of production of food items such as round onions, garlic, zinger, tomatoes, potatoes, kaukau and vegetables, now replacing imports of the same items.

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