Health Department

Treasurer queries COVID-19 funds

He said there are allegations that bulk of the 23 million kina released by the government for COVID-19 operations, was being used to hire cars and media consultants.

The 23 million Kina released by Treasury for COVID-19 operations, must be prioritized well, to include purchase of medical kits and Personal Protective Equipment.

However, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has since raised concerns of alleged misappropriation.

Kase formally vacates post

He was accorded a small farewell ceremony by Department staff and stakeholder representatives on Monday 27th January at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby.

Kase took the opportunity to highlight some of his achievements and some of the plans which are yet to be accomplished.  

Among some of the major achievements were:   

Health dept achievements highlighted

Secretary Pascoe Kase said in December 2019, the Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Jelta Wong, and Prime Minister James Marape announced at the opening of the new health facilities developments in Tari Provincial Hospital, Cabinet decisions to build new Hela and West New Britain provincial public hospitals.

“This is a welcome announcement for the two provinces, which will now make specialist medical services more accessible to the people,” Kase said in a statement.

Kavieng inmate diagnosed with measles


According to provincial disease control officer Maria Sabok, the result came from tests done at the Central Public Health laboratory in Port Moresby recently.

Sabok said health workers carried out a mass vaccination on 335 inmates including 154 officers and their families, and reported this case.

The inmate has been vaccinated.

She told TV Wan news that they have enough vaccines to continue the program.

The National Department of Health also reported measles being detected in the Gulf Province.

Ineffective command affects supply of medical drugs: Sir Puka

Sir Puka said there is surplus medical drugs in-store at the Area Medical Store but break-down in communication is what’s causing the delay.

He said hospital managers and CEOs must always communicate with the Area Medical Stores for their supply of medical drugs.

He was responding to questions raised by the Member for Ijivitari Richard Masere, to clarify the shortages of medical drugs in the country.

“Can the good Minister tell the country the truth and confirm or deny if we have medical drugs?” Masere asked.

Additional polio cases reported

The case from Morobe is a four-year-old girl from Markham District. Her paralysis, including muscle pain and weakness in her right leg, started on 16 July 2018.

The girl has no record of receiving polio vaccine and no history of travelling outside of the province.

A case in Madang District is a 22-month-old boy who had an onset of weakness in both legs on 15 July 2018. The boy has no record of polio vaccination and no history of travel.

Health department slams anthrax report

The National Department of Health has confirmed with the Madang Provincial Health Authorities that anthrax disease was not an outbreak, though it existed among pigs in certain parts in the habitat.

According to World Health Organisation, anthrax is a disease caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. It is a disease which has existed for hundreds of years and which still occurs naturally in both animals and humans in many parts of the world. In its most common natural form, it creates dark sores on the skin.

Public servants still locked out

Health Department workers were still locked outside their Waigani office this morning when this newsroom visited them.

Despite the dull day, Health Department staff still went to work but only to find out again that their offices were still locked.

They arrived at work at 8am and sat outside the entrance of the Department office, with hopes that a senior officer will inform them whether the office was going to be reopened or not.

Some had personal items still in the office and were concerned.

​Dept, hospitals to tackle medical drugs issue

They will identify available funds and support the services to approach local pharmacies and suppliers to purchase items which are in short supply.

Secretary for Health, Pascoe Kase, said there should be no reason for patients to purchase supplies that should be available directly to the health system.

Kase reiterated his comments from last week stating that this was a complex issue in the rapidly growing country, with understandably increasing expectations and standards.

Kase defends procurement of medical drugs

Kase said it was incorrect to say that the unavailability of medical supplies in the country relates to poor procurement practices by the National Department of Health.

He said the procurement of medical drugs and equipment were complex but had been successful in the last five years.

Kase clarified that the Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) awards the contract to the company involved in the distribution of medical kits in the country.