Maintaining healthcare remains a priority: Abel


THE Government remains focused on delivering an efficient and effective health system that achieves internationally acceptable standards of health services accessible by the people across the country.
To support that, Treasurer Charles Abel announced the health sector had been allocated K1.5 billion (K1,505.9 million) in the 2018 Budget of which K1,044.3 million is allocated for operational and K461.7 million for capital expenditures.
Medical supplies, procurement and distributions processes take the balance of K266.4 million.
The 2017 budget allocated health K1.22 billion.
Abel said the key priorities of the sector were noted to have made significant progress in achieving the health targets and improving indicators over the recent years, and this should continue to be supported by the national government and development partners.
“The current focus on provincial hospitals should be complemented by efforts from provinces with SIPS through the PHAs (provincial health authorities) to ensure that basic infrastructure in districts and local level government’s exist and is adequately funded through the operational component,” Abel said.
“Provinces and districts should fund the majority of the infrastructure needs at the provincial, district and the LLG levels.”
Abel said financing of the health sector has increased significantly over the last five years and a focus on improving the infrastructure of the national and regional referral hospitals and provincial hospitals are critical national functions.
“The Port Moresby Heart and Lifestyle Diseases Institute receives K30 million as does the Angau Cancer Unit.
“A new programme for district hospital development gets K50 million.”