The National, Wednesday, May 11, 2011
By VERONICA FRANCIS
It is time to get back to basics by strengthening primary health care for all and improve service delivery for the rural majority and urban disadvantaged, Health Minister Sasa Zibe says.
That was one of the key messages at the Governor’s Health Summit looking at the National Health Plan (NHP) 2011-20 held at the Gateway Hotel yesterday.
The summit gave a rundown of the NHP 2011-20 while emphasising on the implementation phases at the provincial level.
Zibe said the NHP 2011-20 was launched last August with the government approving K14.17 billion.
“For that (it) expects changes to the health of all Papua New Guineans over the next 10 years,” he said.
“This will require all of us at all levels of government to play our part because, as we know, health is everybody’s business, it’s my responsibility and it’s yours to make this happen.”
Zibe said the NHP was the first plan to be completely aligned to the government’s Vision 2050 for a “smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society”, was the first to be aligned with the development strategic plan 2010-20 and is was aligned to the Medium Term Development Plan 2011-15.
“The government has approved the budgets contained within the development strategic plan and with that I am confident that our vision to transform the health system and to deliver improved health services to our people is within our reach and achievable,” Zibe said.
He urged provincial governors to look at the issues and challenges facing the health sector in their provinces.
Zibe said such problems could be, industrial, pay and conditions, housing, shortage of nurses, community health workers, doctors, medical specialists and drug procurement and distribution.
He said despite all the negative issues and challenges, “we must not dwell in the past”.
“As a legislator, you have given me that mandate in 2007 to change from the old Provincial and Hospital Act to the new Provincial Health Authority (PHA) Act, which is the new vehicle to drive the change, the new vehicle for health service delivery and is articulated under the NHP,” he said.
The PHA Act is to enable provinces to choose an alternative model for the delivery of government-funded health services.