Health Minister

Health worker gap outlined

Health Minister, Dr Lino Tom, expressed concern that PNG’s population growth is exceeding the government’s ability to cater to its citizens.

The gap between health workers and the populace keeps widening, with one doctor catering to 20,000 people.

However, if we are to go by the United Nation’s population estimate of 15 to 17 million, the ratio would be 1 health worker to 30,000 people.

“That’s why when I became the Health Minister, with the assistance of the Prime Minister, we are trying to bridge this gap,” he stated.

Pharmaceutical needs to be discussed

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justin Tkatchenko, stated that Health Minister, Dr Lino Tom, will be a part of the bilateral discussion when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in PNG.

Tkatchenko stated that India is one of the biggest producers of medicine and chemicals in the world and PNG need to discuss on working directly with manufacturers for the benefit of supplying good quality medicine for the people.

PM Orders Health Minister To Intervene

The Prime Minister was responding to Member for Abau, Sir Puka Temu during Question Time today. Sir Puka told Parliament that most often the people from Central were turned away from Port Moresby and Gerehu General Hospitals.

"Our people are always turned back from seeking medical treatment in the city hospital.

"Why are doctors turning our people away?"

Prime Minister Marape when responding assured the people of Central Province that they have every right to seek medical treatment in all city hospitals.

Health Minister refutes article

In response, Minister Jelta Wong said: "My point in the television interview on Tuesday 4 February, 2020, was not to announce that students living in Mainland China are not important, rather it was to highlight the importance of minimising the risk of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV) from entering PNG borders - and that a mitigation process must be followed.

Gazelle sets funds for LLGs

Member for Gazelle and Health Minister, Jelta Wong, revealed this recently during the approval of this year’s development budget at the last District Development Authority board meeting at Kerevat.

The budget is worth K35, 489, 810.

Minister Wong said from the 2020 DSIP, K500,000 each will be allocated to the five LLGs – Central Gazelle, Toma-Vunadidir, Reimber-Livuan, Lassul-Baining and Inland Baining.

Out of that K500,000, 10 percent or K15,000 will be allocated each to administration and president support and 4 percent or K20,000 for project mobilisation.

Over K25m spent per year on AIDS treatment: Minister

Speaking at the recent observance of World AIDS Day, Health Minister Jelta Wong said: “The government, in its 2020 budget, has set aside an additional K10 million for HIV/AIDS treatment.”

Wong said the first case of HIV was diagnosed in 1987 in Port Moresby. Seven years later, PNG’s HIV epidemic was described as being generalised when 1 percent of the sexually active population in the country were diagnosed with HIV infection.

K100,000 for medical symposium

During the presentation today, Health Minister Elias Kapavore said the medical symposium is an important platform where critical research and papers are presented in an effort to better PNG’s health indicators.

PNG’s 55th Annual Medical Symposium will be held in Port Moresby from 1st - 6th September with the theme: “Health Education”. The objective is to address the poor health indicators by transforming the PNG Health workforce training to meet excellent standards and hence, meet PNG Vision 2050.

Midwives’ achievements celebrated

They were recognised for the critical role they play in improving neonatal and maternal healthcare in PNG.

PNG has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the Asia Pacific region with an estimated 733 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

The Australian government, in partnership with the Government of PNG, has been supporting the development of PNG’s midwifery human resources through scholarships for midwives and supporting capacity building for health training institutions that provide midwifery training.

Health authorities responsible for provincial facilities

Health Minister Sir Puka Temu said the decentralisation of financial powers back to the provincial health authority is to ensure rural health facilities are well catered for.

Currently there are only 11 provinces with a provincial health authority office.

The Minister believes this is the way to go and has instructed all CEO’s of these PHA offices to work closely with the governor and the district MPs.

Sir Puka said under the budget provisions, the health functional grants will go directly to the provincial health authorities.

Health Minister and Secretary visit PNGIMR

On Friday 24th November, the delegation was led by the Health Minister Puka Temu and Secretary of Health Pascoe Kase.

In welcoming the Minister and Secretary, Acting Director, Dr William Pomat said that it was an honour to have the Minister and Secretary to visit and for staff to report on IMR’s research achievements, challenges and solutions in order to save Papua New Guinean lives.