Maxtone-Graham outlines health priority

National, Normal

The National – Friday, August 12th 2011

HEALTH will be given priority by the new government, Health Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham says.
At a welcome briefing at the National Department of Health in Port Moresby yesterday, he said his aim was to make public hospitals better than private hospitals.
He said private health care was becoming expensive and urged the public to be mindful about their health as well.
Maxtone-Graham said they would not build any super hospitals but the department would be looking at fixing existing hospitals.
He said he wanted staff to be part of a dynamic team and lead by example.
He said they should graduate from border line health to being “healthy and vibrant people in the department”.
Maxtone-Graham said as a passionate man about health, he preferred showing his leadership by ta­king action.
“Actions speak louder than words,” he said, adding there were many challenges and one of the big­gest was ignorance.

“People need to be empowered. I believe in educating not in medicating,” he said.
He said those who opposed a transparent and accountable department should “walk out”.
He reiterated calls by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on zero tolerance on corruption.
He said they were sick and tired of a government serving its own interest rather than that of the people of PNG.
Health acting secretary Pascoi Kesa said they were ready for him “to take charge of the boat and sail with him”.