By Quinton Alomp-EM TV, Port Moresby
Churches in PNG have been on the forefront of health service delivery, to about three quarters of the population, especially in rural areas.
The involvement of churches and the many significant contributions’ made in the health sector, have had tremendous impact since independence, 40 years back.
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill commended their contribution to nation building, during the 45th annual conference of Christian Health Services held in Port Moresby yesterday.
The prime minister said that health services provided by churches, particularly in rural areas, have bridged the gap to areas where government services aren’t reachable. While recognising the efforts of church health workers by including them on the government payroll, PM O’Neill said the government and churches in PNG need the support of each other.
“The government’s commitment is to strengthen the partnership we have with the churches.” PM said. Since late 2011, the government has spent over K4 billion in the health sector alone.
The Christian Health Services, which is comprised of 23 different denominations, has received K148 million funding this year.
About 47 per cent of health facilities in urban and semi-urban areas are operated by churches, with 80 per cent of rural health services provided in the most remote areas of the country.
Over K40 million meant for free primary health care and subsidised treatment has been released since last year.