Health secretary Pascoe Kase said this in his Christmas message to Papua New Guinea.
“By 2017, the Health Department proposes to have a bill passed for specialist hospitals. Four hospitals in the country will be declared Specialist Hospitals. Only patients who need specialist medical care will be referred to those hospitals,” Kase said in a statement.
“Health has come a long way prior to independence, primarily focusing on the clinical care and treatment programs, rehabilitation of general hospitals and building of district health facilities.
“In 2010, the department has taken a new twist to combat challenges by way of developing its sixth National Health Plan (NHP) 2011-2020 as a pillar for achieving quality health outcomes and health indicators.”
Kase said the plan is people-focused as it responds to the people’s demands of our current health care systems.
“People of Papua New Guinea, 2016 has been a challenging year for the Health Department. Many problems, criticisms and negative comments flanked the health department thus has paved our way forward to aim for more improved and quality health care service delivery to the majority rural populations and urban disadvantaged,” said the secretary.
“2017 will continue to see tangible health programs executed despite other national programs and events.
“Moreover, our recruitment of foreign doctors and nurses will fill the gaps of workforces that lacks, especially in the district hospitals; the same treatment that is required of you in the provincial hospitals will be available in the district level. So, it is a one-stop service at your doorsteps.
“The tapping into the Cuban doctors also opened doors for drugs that can be purchased from the country, as 70 percent of its pharmaceutical medical drugs used for medical use are produced in Cuba and the country is a leading player in the innovation of drugs in the treatment of diabetes.
“That also prompts me to say that the National Department of Health is hoping to replace the cobalt (Co-60) machine for cancer treatment with the state-of-art Linear Accelerators – a machine that is capable of treating 50-60 patients a day.
“That will also come in package with biomedical technicians. The department has a plan that our own staff or locals will also be trained by the experts for the long run.”
Furthermore, Kase said the Health Department has started work on supporting the establishment of Community Health Posts.
He said Western Highlands, Enga and Milne Bay have come good with their PHA rollout programs and others are to follow suit.
“With better facilities in place, the NDoH is hoping to take ownership in the urgent areas of need in terms of medical supplies and technical inputs,” said Kase.
“We have recently opened the state-of-the-art operating and X-ray theatres like in the case of Kavieng, Madang, Mt Hagen and Popondetta. Each hospital in the provinces will have their establishments of such life-saving equipment.
“With all that and more in mind, I would foremost like to thank my hard working staff for their solidarity in providing health care to the people of this nation.
“Those who have missed out, I am sure the Good Lord comforts you wherever you are.
“When you celebrate your Christmas, celebrate in good health and with good faith till we meet again this time next year.
“The Department of Health coveys its very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous Happy New Year to all.”