All district hospitals will be upgraded to level-four status as part of the government’s commitment to maintain a single standard throughout the country.
National Planning Minister Richard Maru told Parliament that it was the first time that the Government had decided to upgrade district hospitals.
Maru, responding to Ambunti-Dreikikir MP Johnson Wapunai’s question on the status of the district hospitals, said that K50 million had been allocated for the project.
“I confirm that K21 million has been released to the Department of Health and it is their responsibility to go down and meet with the districts and carry out scoping work so that by the time the funds go out, we will be able to meet this standard of level 4,” he said. “In the next two months, I will complete releasing the balance of funding.
“It is now the responsibility of health minister for the department and the local MPs to finalise everything and get the work done.
“I’m happy to say that we have released nearly half of the money to the department and we are very serious about this programme.
“This programme will take five years to reach all the districts, the resource envelope will not enable us to work within a year.
“Let’s start with the district hospitals in the most remote locations where there is no road to the provincial centres and they are totally underserved. This is part of the government’s deliberate strategy to improve health services in rural areas so
that we can improve our heath indicators. PNG continues to have some of the worst health indicators in the Asia-Pacific region and we must start this programme this year and roll it out in this term of government.”
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