'SHUTDOWN' of Health Services Imminent
- Nigel Akuani
Port Moresby: The Health Sector of PNG will soon be experiencing a severe halt to all its services to the general population if its grievances are not met by the government.
This was the cautionary statement stressed in a formal letter addressed by the Christian Health Services of PNG and Catholic Church Health Services on 10thJune, to the Government of PNG via the Ministry of Health (National Department of Health).
Supported by Mr Japalias Kaiok, Chairman of Christian Health Services; Mr Ulch Tapia, Chief Executive Officer; Bishop Francis Meli, Catholic Bishop for Health; and Sr Jadwiga Faliszek, Secretary of Catholic Health Services, it outlined three vital points that hindered the operations of both organisations specifically:
Salary and Operational Grants for Church Health Services since February 2020, as stipulated in the 2020 Budget Appropriation;
Operational Grants for Health Worker Training School from 2017 to 2020; and
Stop Work Notice.
According to the letter, 15 working days have been given to the government to adhere to the demands, before an indefinite ‘Stop Work’ period commences on Friday 3rdJuly.
It explained that continued downplaying of Health Services’ situations had forced the organisations to take the decisive action, “These are trying times, and we have considered this to be an ethical issue which borders along with our ethical and spiritual morals”.
The letter concluded urging for the government to consider their plight and release the funding for the preceding months for operations and salaries without any delay, “We need the government to know that CHS and CCHS also provides a public service to the people and we must be recognized and compensated for this".