The National, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
By ELIZABETH MIAE
ACCESS to health services in the country remains a major challenge, a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea says.
Nursing lecturer at the School of Medicine and Health Science Elizabeth Piskupe told a nurses symposium in Port Moresby: “The ability to access health services is the key to improving health, well-being and life expectancy.
“Yet achieving this fundamental requirements remains limited by cost, language, proximity, policies and practices as well as many other factors.”
Piskupe said the dual (health) systems with their fragmented roles and functions were ineffective.
“We have the ability to turn this around through the implementation of the provincial health authorities Act 2007 – a law aimed at removing impediments and barriers to the delivery of health services.”
She said the authorities would enable the delivery of the new reforms to all provinces.
She said the health department would achieve that through its partnership with the churches, non-governmental organisations and central agencies for improved service delivery to the rural majority and urban disadvantaged.
“Nurses are essential to improving equity and access to health care and adding quality to the outcome of care.
“They are the only group of health professionals providing primary health care in many of the most challenging settings.”
She said nurses needed to implement national policies such as the PNG Vision 2050 and National Health Plan.
“There are many data available and even during the previous nurses research symposium, research findings and audits were not evaluated and therefore not implemented and this can be seen as a gap.”