Free Health Care Policy comes with Challenges

The Free Primary Health Care and Subsidized Specialist Services Policy have been embraced by boththe public and private sector; however,there are challenges that must be addressed to avoid problems when implementingthe policy.


Some ofthe implications identiflied include;

  1. Supply and consumption of drugs and medical supplies will be affected;
  2. Rural health facilities will continue to charge fees when funds do not reachthem on time;
  3. Patients will bypass facilities to seek hospital facilities;
  4. Church run facilities may be forced to adopt emergency measures to cater for the growing demand which will forcethem to charge fees to cater for staff salary and drugs supply and medical equipment’s.
The National Government and Health Department were told to strenthenthe national health financing system and to release funds on time to avoid hiccups on annual impact projects and policies.


Experts present said if and when government fixesthe current Government HR and Finance Departments, Health facilities, drugs and medical supply issues throughoutthe country,the policy will experience smooth sailing.


The Alotau accord promised twenty-million kina will be allocated every year to implementthe free health policy.


Meanwhile,the launching ofthe much anticipated Free Health Care Policy was called off on Thursday because Health Minister Michael Malabag andthe Health Secretary were unavailable.


It is understoodthe Minister andthe Secretary had leftthe country on an official trip.

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