Nursing association joins health insurance scheme

National

By LULU MARK
NURSES in the country are now members of the Papua New Guinea Health Assurance (PHA).
PNG Nursing Association general secretary Gibson Siune said the scheme was affordable and that health workers were convinced that it was the best one for them.
Siune said a contract signed on Friday was for the 4000 financial members of the association from the public sector but nurses in the private sector would join up later.
He said nurses do get sick so it was important for them to be insured and they also needed to know their health status. On its website, PHA describes itself as “digital technology-enabled, providing affordable and comprehensive general insurance to everyone”.
Siune said the association was part of another insurance company which required nurses to pay for their healthcare and then make claims.
He said the process took a while and sometimes their claims were rejected.
Siune said there was no proper dialogue and the insurance company’s policies were not made known to the nurses which caused a lot of frustration for the nurses.
“We need an insurance company that is adaptable and flexible which can establish effective communication with us,” he said.
Therefore, the association moved to PHA.
Siune said there were opportunities for an optional family cover and other benefits under PHA.
However, there was one aspect that the association was excited about – the health cover development fund.
He said nurses were working in deteriorating facilities with limited resources and faced many challenges They maintained the delivery of health services because of their passion and love for the profession, so the fund set aside by PHA for the health facilities would be a bonus for them.
PHA adviser Raj Juta said the five per cent development fund was the company’s way of giving back to the community. He said it would be for necessary infrastructure for rural and remote areas of the country.
“Papua New Guinea Health Assurance wants to provide affordable health insurance for all Papua New Guineans and it is open for registration to all,” he said.
He said health insurance would bring peace to the mind because you knew you were covered.

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