Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill in declaring the 53rd Medical Symposium open this morning in Port Moresby, said for the symposium to continue in order to advance the delivery of healthcare in our country.
O’Neill said improving access to universal healthcare is a top priority of the Government and that the government is committed to reforming healthcare services in the country.
He stated that for over a decade, Governments had neglected health care in our country, and that the much talked about National Health plan, was never funded, adding that it has had great support from development partners, from countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
“The churches of our country continue to stand up and show their commitment to our people.
“We delivered the Second Alotau Accord, and in this accord we have made a serious commitment to better healthcare outcomes, building on what we delivered in the First Alotau Accord.
We will build on what we have already achieved, and recognized where we did not meet our targets”, he said.
The Prime Minister said in this term, the Government has committed to rehabilitate all provincial hospitals and they will continue to expand Community health posts, and redevelop district hospitals to address maternal and infant mortality.
“There will be increased focus on TB, HIV/AIDs, and on dealing with the cancers that take the lives of women and we will increase training for healthcare workers, particularly for rural and remote areas.”
He adds that one of major commitment is to build a medical university in the Nation’s capital, so that it can be a standalone university for the Nation.
“Importantly, we will deal with the supply chain issues that have undermined the delivery of medicine to our people.
We have seen ongoing problems with the distribution of medicines. The drugs have been properly funded, but still we have seen delays across the country.
“The bottlenecks have been identified and are being resolved,” he said.
O’Neill said to deliver better healthcare there needs to be better information and the need to know the facts of where gaps exist for our people.
He said a more complete Demographic Health Survey, will also ensure up-to-date reporting on PNG’s progress on the UN Sustainable development Goals, and the changes and the improvements that we seek - is not something that the government can do alone.
“Healthcare providers and healthcare professionals need to work together, with Government, for the benefit of our people and we look forward to working closely with the Medical Society of Papua New Guinea, over the next five years of Government and the support that we receive from healthcare companies.
“You are in the business of saving lives, and we know that you will work with Government to improve the delivery of healthcare services in PNG,” he adds.