World Bank Reports: Health Service Delivery in PNG Needs Improvement

By Leanne Jorari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The World Bank launched two new reports on Tuesday (May 8) about enhancing the public health system efficiency and frontline service delivery in Papua New Guinea.

The reports highlighted the limited resources available for the health sector and the gaps in health system functioning.

According to findings presented by experts from the World Bank, it is apparent that Papua New Guinea’s frontline service delivery needs to be improved.

The O’Neill-Abel government and the O’Neill-Dion government before have continuously made the health sector a priority. In the 2018 budget, the sector was allocated 1.5 million kina, an increase of 14 percent from the 2017 supplementary budget; however even with this commitment from the government, health outcomes have been poor and improvements, slow.

The report ‘service delivery by health facilities in PNG’ reveals that the decline in coverage of essential health services and the high prevalence of communicable diseases like multidrug-resistant TB reveal important weaknesses in the health system; the reasons as to why the outcome has been poor varies; from a lack of trained health managers at health facilities, to policies from Waigani been passed at a national level and not implemented at sub-national levels.

This will need to be remedied, because while PNG has transitioned from low-income to lower-middle-income status, donors; who represent a significant source of funding to the health sector, are reducing financial support to PNG.

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