PNG struggling to tackle maternal, infant health

National

Health indicators for PNG have not improved and the challenge to achieve improved maternal child health, infant health and key health concerns are enormous, Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Dr Puka Temu says.
Speaking during signing of a funding facility for the health sector with the Asian Development Bank yesterday, Sir Puka said funding was timely now with the improvement of the health system management.
“I acknowledge that as a nation, our health indicators are not as good as all the challenges are enormous,” he said. “We have enormous challenges ensuring that we provide efficient service in response to the demands and needs of our people.
“I want to thank and support ADB for the continuous long term support to the health sector.
“Purely health interventions are only 40 per cent, the other 60 per cent are non-health which means infrastructure,” Sir Puka said.
He said there were three areas of focus, the first was national framework to properly charge the health sector to contribute to the national budget.
“This loan will help us to have capacity to properly manage the finances at every level of health sector and to help us prepare for the next health plan 2021 to 2030, Sir Puka said.
“Secondly, management support of health system which is critical. Hospitals, health centres district hospitals, procurement and district which will require smart management.
“This loan will help us strengthen that critical area of management and hopefully with the partners support we can build smart health managers around the country and capacity building at big hospitals to strengthen managers to manage the entire system.
“We are moving into reforms and the provincial health authority (PHA), the hospital team and rural team are going to be under one board headed by the chief executive officer.
“This loan will be able to help build the capacity of this new vehicle called provincial health authority.
“Hopefully, we will transfer some of the critical functions to the PHAs.”

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