THE Government will ensure that the K7.8 million insurance cover for nurses this year will be paid, says Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong.
He made the promise during a visit to the PNG Nurses Association (PNGNA) headquarters in Port Moresby yesterday – the fourth day of the nurses’ sit-in protest regarding the delay in the implementation of the 2021-2023 awards.
“I will make it my business to ensure that the submission for the insurance is taken to NEC (National Executive Council) and I will fight for this,” he said.
“I will ensure that you get your K7.8 million.
“(But) we have a process to follow. Sometimes it’s really quick and good.
“But sometimes we interact with different departments and it becomes a very tedious process.”
Wong said he was not making excuses “for the bureaucracy of our Government but they too need to step up”.
“We have people (nurses) here that put their lives on the line every day,” he said.
“I hear what you want to get and I understand fully.
“It’s not falling on deaf ears.”
PNGNA general-secretary Gibson Siune said nurses were at the frontline, getting infected and some had died from the Covid-19 while waiting for the insurance cover which was supposed to start in January. “There are risk involved and it is only the risk allowance and insurance that should us cover properly,” he said.
Health secretary Dr Osborne Liko said he would meet the PNGPA officials today with the Department of Personnel Management secretary Taies Sansan and someone from the Finance Department.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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