Finance Minister James Marape has encouraged the workforce to sign up for PNG Health Assurance Company Ltd (PHA) to care for their health.
PHA is a national healthcare insurance scheme that was launched on Saturday in Port Moresby.
“This is a good scheme,” Marape said.
“It will help people have enough savings to look after themselves when they are sick, instead of putting pressure on relatives, as is the case in many situations.”
Marape thanked PHA and its strategic partners for turning what was just a concept 13 months ago into reality.
“It is an important scheme, as far as the public and private sector are concerned,” he said.
“Many elite Papua New Guineans are losing their lives very early.
“Rich or poor, now there is an insurance package that can be contributed for by all Papua New Guineans. “
Marape said people spent a lot of money daily on bad habits, but when it came to matters of health, people said they did not have money.
“Last time, I was speaking to one of my friends, who loves to chew betel nut and spend a little bit of money on cigarettes,” he said.
“He was just one of those average public servants.
“He said he spends up to K5 a day on betel nut and cigarettes.
“In a week he spends up to K35, up to K70 a fortnight.
“That person, on a minimum average, spends up to K1000 per year just on buai and smoke.
“Imagine donating K5 a day to a scheme like this.
“Betel nut and smoke lead to a lot of lifestyle diseases.”
Marape said contributing to a health was a better way of sustaining one’s health than spending more money on junk.
Marape, after the launch, signed up for PHA with wife, Rachael, to get their health covered. The National
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