Church health workers will be paid fortnightly under the government payroll system.
Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu said this on Wednesday when witnessing the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the West Sepik Provincial Health Authority and the Baptist Union of Papua New Guinea.
Sir Puka described the agreement as trailblazing, as it is the first of its kind partnership between the government and churches, and in this case the Baptist Union to deliver health services to the rural district of Telefomin.
The signing was witnessed by Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, Defence Minister and Telefomin MP Solan Mirisim, West Sepik PHA chairman, Church Health Services, Baptist Union and Telefomin district officials.
“Myself and the secretary have been discussing how we can link the PHA to the District Development Authority because there is no provision in law yet on who will be the health manager at the district who reports to the CEO, at the same time the CEO of the DDA and the CEO of the PHA, and so this agreement is a trailblazer for the country,” Sir Puka said.
He said he will take the MOA as an example and restructure the overarching agreement between the Christian church services and the department and the provincial health authorities.
“How can we be able to strategically create roles and responsibilities between different service providers, so that there is clarity in the delivery of services, we don’t want confusion to be an impediment in health service delivery. So I see this as a way forward and I congratulate Sandaun PHA and the Telefomin district.
“I am very happy and more so because of the remoteness of the place and although you are operating in a very difficult area in terms of logistics, I think you are coming up with some smart ideas and that’s the value of the front line, because of your difficulty you are now thinking outside of the box and you are now coming up with smarter solutions for effective and efficient delivery of services.
“This is a trailblazing initiative between two important service deliverers- the Church and Government – in a very important national program called health. “We have had a very affectionate partnership over the years, way before Independence, churches were providing services, not only that, but training as well. We say thank you but not only thank you but let the government pay their salaries. This is a public service that the churches have provided and the government needs to support them with salaries and operational costs.” Sir Puka said with the agreement in place the government will arange salaries and make sure that health workers in the Baptist church in this agreement are paid on time. I will make sure they are on the ALESCO payroll as well, Sir Puka added. Post Courier