PNGNA assures members of 2006 awards approval

National, Normal


FINANCIAL members of the PNG Nurses Association (PNGNA) throughout the country have been assured that the government would approve their 2006 awards by the end of the year.
Health Department’s senior industrial relations officer Mulina Kwalimu gave his word on the payment of the awards (estimated K133 million) to all provincial branch executives in Port Moresby yesterday.
Kwalimu said he met with representatives from the Department of Personnel Management on Monday and notified them that the nurses’ awards would be the next to be implemented following that of environmental health officers which has already been approved.
The news was welcoming to the executives who had come from all provinces for a week-long meeting with the national executives in the nation’s capital.
Kwalimu clarified that the payment of awards were focused on nurses doing clinical duties in health facilities while awards for nurses doing administrative work would be looked at later.
He said the idea was to improve the terms and conditions of nursing officers including doctors so that they would go back to the hospitals and perform their clinical duties better.
Kwalimu also pointed out that the multi-billion kina LNG (liquefied natural gas) project was a threat to the health sector as it could drain the workforce, adding that the government was now looking into improving the workforce’s terms and conditions.
He challenged the executives to come up with a measurement of the output of their work of how best they could contribute to improving health services.
Kwalimu said one area that they could look into was the high maternal and infant mortality rates.
He said they (nurses) could help to bring the rate down, then that was the evidence to the government that they deserved the awards.
He said that was the same challenge he issued to the doctors who were highly paid yet demanded more from the government.
“The government has been good to us and there won’t be a problem with the nurses’ awards,” Kwalimu said.
“If we’re going to get it done within this month, we’re expecting something to happen in November or December,” he said.
Questions were raised on whether nurses working under churches, NGOs and private health facilities would be awarded to which Kwalimu said they were in a different group and outside of the public health sector, therefore, would not be awarded.