Dr. Yennie made the announcement in a Circular, No. 20/2022 on Friday 17 June 2022. The decision was made by the NCD PHA Board on 16 June 2022.
The circular addressed to the Management and staff of NCDPHA, partners and stakeholders, stated that the NCDPHA Management resolved and made this decision.
Dr Yennie said, “This rather unfortunate situation has happened due to the locking up of the main NCDPHA COVID-19 operation centre at Rita Flynn Complex by PNG Sports Foundation due to non-payment of service user fees amounting to millions of kina.
“Our employees were disallowed entry starting 2nd June 2022. All of our critical medical equipment, such as the GeneExpert machine are also withheld from us. The National Control Centre (NCC) and the National Department of Health (NDoH) have not given clear indication of settling these dues so we are not able to continue our testing and associated services at the Rita Flynn facility,” Dr. Yennei said.
Secondly, the NCDPHA has accrued increased liabilities since 2019 when the COVID-19 containment and response programs started. They include personnel, hire cars, and related costs.
“This also affected effective delivery of our public health programs on malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, etc. We are not receiving HSIP funds from the (NDoH) so we cannot continue to incur more costs. Until such time when our HSIP is transferred to us, we will be scaling up our public health programs. Third, our operational budget is overstretched with meeting unbudgeted expenditures not only covering COVID-19 but other public health programs as well. This effectively means that we have to make an additional submission to Treasury and Finance to refinance our current and past liabilities,” he added.
“No COVID-19 activities are expected to be delivered until such time we secure the necessary funding to continue the monitoring, surveillance, and response programs,” said Dr. Yennie.
He added that if funding is made available by the National Government, they may consider alternative establishments of COVID operation centres in some of the clinics.