Christian Health Services employs about 4,000 workers and a month’s grant is worth K6million from the PNG government which caters for salaries as well as operations.
Early this week, it was confirmed that a month’s grant was released from the government, from the four months grant expected. This amount would cover salaries for February but not for March, April, May and June.
Chairman of Christian Health Services, Japalis Kaiok said the funds received recently can only cater for one or two fortnight’s salaries.
A petition statement was released on 10th June by the Christian Health Services jointly with the Catholic Church Health Services giving notice of a stop work to the government due to non-payment of salaries. The Terms and Conditions handed over to the government said they will stop work by 3rd of July, if demands are not met.
“This is the second week of the joint petition that was given to the government. The joint statement that was given to the government was with the Christian Health Services and the Catholic Church Health Services,” Kaiok said.
“We are still hoping the remaining grants come in by this week, because the end of the petition given is the 3rd of July which is basically next week.” He sighed.
Meanwhile, Kompiam hospital in Enga Province, run by the Baptist Union also receives government grants for payment of salaries and the operational costs, but it has not been able to pay its health workers since February 2020 and half of the staff have stopped work.
The Manager for the Hospital, Associate Professor, David Mills said the hospital tried to keep the workers on duty by offering other incentives but it did not help.
“In our case we hadn’t been able to pay our staff and so we offered to the staff that maybe we could give them a small amount of food so we could continue to work but we lost half of the staff. We lost half of our staff a fortnight ago when we were not able to pay them anymore,” he added.
A lot of other Christian Health Service facilities are also facing a similar fate.
The last grant was provided in January by the government but then there was no more until about few days ago when they received a month’s grant meant for April.
“So we didn’t received anything for February or March and we haven’t receive anything for May or for June, so that’s two months’ salary grants for six months of work,” he said.
Kompiam Hospital has a 55 bed capacity that provides full medical services including surgeries and referrals, however due to the downturn of staff capacity, it has been unable to do so.