OF the 4,500 positions allocated to the Papua New Guinea Health Department last year to increase its workforce, 2,000 will be given to the provincial health authorities, according to its secretary, Dr Osborne Liko.
He told The National yesterday during the second day of the Provincial Health Authority (PHA) chairmen and chief executive officers forum in Port Moresby that they had a plan in place.
“We recently developed a health policy that outlines how the 2,000 positions will be distributed to each PHA from which they can boost their provincial health workforce,” he said.
Liko said one area they were focusing on was the Village Health Assistance (VHA) programme.
“We are allocating 100 to 200 positions to the PHAs especially for village health assistants,” he said.
“Each PHA will be responsible for their aid posts, district and provincial hospitals, and village health assistance.” Liko said the Health Department was working with the departments of Personnel Management and Treasury to finalise the positions and the budget, and to get the VHAs up and running.
He pointed out that the health sector was experiencing a workforce crisis at the village level.
“The biggest component that is missing in the health structure is the link between the villages and their district aid posts and hospitals. We have patients in the villages who are discharged from provincial and district hospitals and go back to their villages, patients who are diagnosed with chronic diseases, pregnant mothers and their babies who need to be vaccinated,” Liko said.
“But we do not have health workers in the villages to do follow-up checks on them.”
“We have now come up with the VHA in the villages to assist villagers.”
The National / PNG Health News
PNG Health News
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