Minister brushes aside health crisis claims

Minister for Health Sir Puka Temu has brushed aside claims by former prime minister and Moresby North-West MP, Sir Mekere Morauta, on health crisis in the country.

Sir Puka said things are continuing to improve and the government is committed to improving the past situation Sir Mekere is referring to.

Sir Mekere claimed that the recent statements by Dr James Naipao, President of the National Doctors Association, and Professor Glen Mola from the Medical School, highlight urgent and serious issues that the Government is refusing to acknowledge or do anything about.

“The health system is in crisis – everyone knows that – but Peter O’Neill and Puka Temu are just letting people die or suffer,” the former Prime Minister said.

“They have thousands of deaths from preventable disease, from common illnesses, from injury, on their consciences. When are they going to acknowledge the duty they have to manage the health system and fund health priorities properly?”

However, Sir Puka responded and told this newsroom that Dr Naipao and Prof Mola always talk about the situation of 12 months ago.

He added that things are continuing to improve.

Sir Puka went on and urged all doctors to communicate with him directly because only by working together will they move forward.

Minister Puka stressed that we are not in a crisis as claimed by Sir Mekere, pointing out that our health system is still working but continuous improvement is required.

He said a crisis occurs when hospitals close and for example, when we did not respond effectively to the recent polio outbreak.

Despite Sir Puka’s bold statement, citizens are urging him to visit the public hospitals and see for himself the dire situation they are in.

The old story of medical drugs and consumables shortage has continued into 2019.

(Filepic: Minister for Health Sir Puka Temu)

Freddy Mou