Health Workers Pay to Increase

Remuneration packages for health workers inthe public sector will be increased in a bid to addressthe shortage of health staff inthe country.


This was announced by Health Secretary Pascoe Kase during Health and Population Sectoral Committee Meeting in Port Moresby yesterday.

A progressive update was made on several health resolutions identiflied bythe Consultative Implementation Monitoring Council in 2012.


Among Five Key endorsements bythe NEC, Resolution 3 focuses on Human Resource Development and Performance.


Under this resolution, remuneration packages for public health workers will be reviewed and increased.


“They deserve to have a pay rise…but whilethe approval is still on its way,the department have already proposedthe new budget for 2014 on whatthey should be getting sothere will be no excuses,” said Pascoe Kase.

Secretary Kase said low employment packages forced health workers into private practice or seek employment with companies.


He said withthe influx of foreign investors this problem could worsen.


Last year,the Port Moresby General Hospital advertised over three-hundred nursing positions, but only a hundred applications were received.


Another more dire approach is also considered; recalling retired or retrenched health workers intothe workforce.


“We want to recall all our retired health workers to come back to work; even you are overage you can still come back. There will be contracts offered for overage health workers,” said Kase.

Greater emphasis will also be on improving infrastructure of medical schools, to improver capacity and increase intakes to train more doctors and nurses.


PNG’s Development partners play a major role here. Last year AusAID offered AUS$30 million to fund rehabilitation of nursing colleges.


The National Government has also committed to provide at least K1.5 billion to supportthese programs covered underthe 2011-2020 National Health Plan.


For many health workers inthe public sector,the review and increase of remuneration packages should come as welcome news, following years of disputes withthe government.

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