Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Some views on the PNG Health Care System

A news story by Mr. Henry Nayam and Ms. Winsome Nenewa who are fourth year Health Management Students in Divine Word University.

The PNG National Government recently passed the 2011 National Budget with a record spending total of K9 billion. The Government’s highest priority is implementing the new Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2011 -2015, which will underpin the achievement of the objectives set out in the PNG Development Strategic Plan (DSP) 2010-2030, and PNGVision 2050.
According to the National Health Budget for 2011, Volume 1, in the Development Appropriations for Primary and Preventative Health 2005-2011, the Health Department received K274 million in 2010 and in 2011 this amount will increase to K311 million.
So, what does this mean for our hospitals, health centres, rural hospitals and the people who go to get services from them? Does this money really translate to improved health services? Is the country’s health status improving? Well, we asked some of the students in the DWU campus to gather their views on how they see the country’s health status.

Name: Susan Simeon (HM4)
Our country’s health status is deteriorating slowly due to the health budget being mostly spent on the health care rather being spent on the population’s health.

Name: Peter Lanovene (PG1)
The health status is the deteriorating because I have been to the hospitals and I saw that there is shortage of medical supplies and no improvement in the health facilities.

Name: Natasha Lagani (BS2)
It is slowly improving because there is a lot of awareness from the Health Department on concerning health issues but there is still need for more improvement.

Name: Sis. Marceline Pokah (SRS2)
I think that the country’s health status is stagnant for the past years. The main issue for no changes is that the people in the community do not participate in improving their health or health programs.

Name: Malakai Thomas (BS2)
From my opinion the health status is very low, comparing with the other countries. At most hospitals, more patients are waiting longer hours to be treated and sometimes are not treated well. The government has to provide more funds to the Health Department.

Name: Ellison Toriki (Jnr) (EH4)
The health status of the country is badly deteriorating, because most people do not have excess to the basic health services especially in the rural areas. My question is who is to be blame, the government or the health system?

Name: Dr. Clement Manineng
There are two parts of the PNG Health service – private and public. The private health service is a booming industry while the public health service continues to decline due to a gross mismatch between rapid population growth and the inability of the Government health machinery to sustain it.

The National Government has made a commitment to fund the PNG National Health Plan with total cost of K14.7 billion over the 10 year period from 2011-2010…..We all hope that this plan will be well funded by the Government and it, in turn, translates to real health services that reach all Papua New Guineans.

An example of a Public Health serivce: Parents continue to wait in front of the Madang town clinic becasue there is only one baby scale. The can wait up to almost two hours in the sun before they can reach the entrance to have their baby weighed. Pic by Kingston Namun

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