MADANG governor Sir Arnold Amet took the Health Department to task over the K14 billion National Health Plan, challenging them to change the facts of the colourful handbook about the plan into a reality.
Top health officials including heads of hospitals throughout the country gathered in Madang last week to discuss the 10-year National Health Plan, launched in Port Moresby recently.
Sir Arnold referred to chapter 3 of the book (Vol 1) where it talked about the gigantic leap in population figures of 2.7% by 2030 with an expected figure of 13 million people then and doubling in 2050.
He stressed that the department had to do more awareness on appropriate family planning measures because uncontrolled population growth impacted the country’s ability to provide effective health services and education.
“The main health concern is poor maternal health. Maternal deaths have increased in the past 10 years.
“Our millennium development goal (MDG) target for 2015 is to decrease maternal deaths to 274 per 100,000 live births, while it is now 733. That goal is just five short years away.
“The reality is that we are not going to achieve that because the shocking revelation is that in 10 years from 1996 to 2006, the maternal death rate doubled from 370 to 733,” he said.
Sir Arnold was also critical of the fact that Modilon Hospital and its management woes were far from over and that hindered any outside doctor from coming to Modilon causing unnecessary deaths in the obstetrics and gynaecology section.
“Our future is in the hands of those new-born children dying everyday, one child in every 13 born will die before they turn five, a rate far greater than any country in the Pacific,” he said.
The meeting ended last Friday with many bold initiatives brought forward and group discussions held on how best to implement existing and new structures.