By Patricia Keamo, EMTV Cadet Journalist – Port Moresby
Public servants who are on sick leave for long periods end up staying away from work and do not contribute to the development of the country; this was part of the message by the Minister for Public Service, Elias Kapavore, at the launch of the National Health Insurance Scheme on March 9th. The Insurance Scheme targets Government workers, Statutory Employees, Business Houses and Members of Parliament.
It will be facilitated by PNG Health Assurance Company Limited, a member of AXA Insurance, the largest Insurance Company in the world providing an alternative health care system for Papua New Guineans. PNG Health Assurance Company Limited is backed by the largest insurance company in the world, Axa insurance and offers a number of benefits to its members.
PHA Specialist Advisor, Raj Juta, says a benefit of the insurance is the cashless policy where members don’t have to pay cash when getting treatment. The members can present their membership card and receive treatment. An additional benefit of PHA includes funeral support.
Apart from the cashless policy, PHA also provide for overseas treatment in the instance where treatment cannot be received in the country.
When asked how PHA will reach out to rural areas, Specialist Raj Juta, says they will reach the rural areas through infrastructure development by donating 5% of their profits to hospitals and clinics.
The roll out program for the health insurance will start with public servants, followed by individuals and private sector on a later date.
Guest speaker at the launch, Public Service Minister, Elias Kapavore, stressed on the health of public servants in the country and the rate that people are dying of lifestyle diseases. Also raising similar concerns on the well-being of public servants was the Minister for Finance, James Marape.