Governor highlights rot in health system

We cannot deny that there is evidence of serious breakdown within the health management system, which has allowed for corruption to creep in.

East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird, made this statement during ‘questions without notice’ in Parliament on December 3rd.

After that, he directed a series of questions to the Health Minister.

In his first question, the Governor asked Health Minister Jelta Wong if he was prepared to deal with all the companies involved in the supply contracts.

“Mostly foreign companies,” stated Bird.

“Secondly, we already have a very able organisation that is called Post PNG. They have offices in 22 provinces and many workers; they have the capability, they’re internationally-recognised. Would there be a willingness for the Department of Health to take these contracts away and give it to Post PNG? And in essence, support our efforts to reform and restructure our state-owned enterprises.

“Finally, what actions is the Minister contemplating to deal with some of these very alarming and serious revelations that are coming out of the Health Department?”

In response, Minister Wong said at this point in time, the contracts are being brought back into his office and they will be going through them with their lawyers to establish whether there have been breaches. From there they will terminate the contracts and start again.

“The idea of using Post PNG, our state owned companies and Defence Force, is in the works. We’re working on the logistical terms at the moment,” stated Wong.

“Secondly, the names of the officers that have been named within the PAC (Public Accounts Committee); once they’ve been named in the PAC, it’s up to any individual to write a letter to the fraud squad to investigate this as it is a fraud matter.

“So I have done that. I have written a letter to the acting Police Commissioner to action and I have given the names that have been mentioned. It’s up to the acting Police Commissioner now to get the fraud squad to start investigating these officers.

“Health is about life and for the last couple of years, it’s been compromised just to make money. Under the Marape-Steven Government, we’re going to look at this very, very closely and investigate every part of it and we will make sure that we get all the culprits that are involved within this racket that has been happening within the Health Department for years.”

(East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird)

Carmella Gware