Shortage of funds hindering health services

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012

HEALTH services throughout the country are deteriorating, yet more than 50% of the national budget is dedicated to capital developments, National Economic and Fiscal Commission chairman Nao Badu said.
According to the World Health Organisation, PNG is third last of the health funding of member countries.
Speaking at the Australian National University and National Research Institute’s budget forum yesterday, Badu said health services were stalling due to less increase of health funding per capita – less than 7% a year.
The rate of the development budget for capital investments and other development was higher than the recurrent budget which covered basic services such as education, health, roads and infrastructure.
Badu said the government was now focusing on new projects and has not injected funds to renovate old buildings in the hospitals, health centres and  aid posts in the rural areas, where  the majority of the population lived, and other infrastructure rehabilitations in the health sector.
The health infrastructure would continue to deteriorate if the government continued to under-fund the sector.
Meanwhile, the head of AusAID Stuart Schaefer said Australia was providing medical supplies to more than 2,700 health facilities in the country while major reforms in the sector would be funded by AusAID.