By Podi Vai – EMTV News Cadet Journalist
Day two of consultation on the review of Papua New Guinea health-related laws yesterday in Port Moresby highlighted some of the problems faced by various provincial health departments in the country.
Clement Totavun, the Secretary for the Department of Health in Bougainville said that unlike other provinces, Bougainville has not received any health functional plan grants.
“The reason why Bougainville did not get any grants was because of the autonomy arrangement where the National Government gives money directly to the Bougainville Government through the restoration development grants,” Mr. Totavun said.
Mr. Totavun explained that Bougainville is not the only province that did not receive their health functional grants; other provinces, like New Ireland and Morobe who are making good internal revenue, are not getting any grants either.
He said the funds given are not enough to deliver health services that are required in the region.
Meanwhile, patients from the Mul Baiyer Lumusa District in Western Highlands Province are being referred to hospitals in Enga, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands province for health care due to the lack of doctors and proper medical equipment.
District Health CEO, Mark Kamju, commented that people die along the road while being being transported to hospitals in nearby provinces.
Mr. Kamju said the Department of Health must make arrangements to send doctors to the Mul Baiyer District to provide health care for the patients.
He said the board of the District Development Authority is not good, and needs recommendations from Health Authorities.