Tuesday, 13 June 2017

O'Neill's health cuts will further cripple the national health system - says Sir Mek

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is planning to cut the health budget by a further 30 percent over the next few years, further crippling the nation’s health services says former PM Sir Mekere Morauta.

By 2021, health spending will have been slashed by two-thirds from K220 per person in the 2015 Budget to K77.

“Mr O’Neill’s cuts are the reason why Papua New Guineans are dying from preventable diseases in their thousands, mothers and babies are dying in their thousands at childbirth, and our bubus are dying in their thousands from lack of basic treatment in villages around the country,” Sir Mekere said.

“Mr O’Neill is wrecking the health system while he is building monuments to himself in Port Moresby such as APEC House, grand hotels, stadiums, and roads and bridges that fall apart almost as soon as they are built. The latest road involves the destruction of Ela Beach.

“This week Modilon General Hospital – one of our leading health facilities, serving Madang and Madang Province – was forced to drastically scale back its operations and increase its fees because of its ‘dire financial situation’.

“A few days earlier there was a report in the Post-Courier about the almost total collapse of the health service in Iokea, Gulf Province. The Moru aid post is almost unusable, with rotting floors and broken walls and windows and an inadequate sewerage system.

“Prime Minister, stop your wasteful, self-promoting spending in Port Moresby and use it to save lives instead. Show some respect for people, show them you care. The Peter Never Cares (PNC) attitude is not acceptable.”

Sir Mekere said the current level of health spending was demonstrably inadequate, and that Mr O’Neill’s planned cuts through to 2021 show a callous disregard for the lives of vulnerable Papua New Guineans.

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