PNG TREASURER Ian Ling-Stuckey says approved funds for public healthcare are not flowing to where they are needed because of red tape.
“This is distressing,” he said.
“At a time of an on-going health emergency, we must ensure that our people’s lives and health are given priority over red-tape.
“I am shocked to learn that of the ministerial warrants of K53.4 million that has been issued for provincial health authorities (PHAs)’ goods and services, only K12.2 million has been released.
“This is despite there being sufficient cash available.
“Changes made to the temporary advance facility last year means we can now front-load more cash expenditure each year.“
The remaining K41.2 million will now be immediately available.”
Ling-Stuckey said the Government was working to get funds to hospitals to help deal with the recent spike in Covid-19 infections.
“(Last) Tuesday’s budget management committee meeting No.49 instructed officials to urgently release the K41.2 million to PHAs,” he said.
“This is a necessary step to deal with the growing health risks nationwide.
“We prepared for the Covid-19 a year ago when the risks of the disease were unknown.
“But the rapid increase in infections over the last four weeks must be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
“As other ministers have said, none of us are immune.
“We need to take precautions with the new normal.”
Ling-Stuckey said it was critical that the Government supported its front-line health workers by ensuring that they had the necessary funds available.
He said that the requirements for procurement plans and annual monthly cash flow plans for the Department of Planning had been suspended for January and February, and this could be extended until later in the year and extended to other departments supporting the global Covid-19 pandemic response.
“The injection of K41.2 million to the PHAs will help deal with the current shortages being faced by our PHAs, including additional purchases of personal protective equipment and oxygen,” he said.
The National / #PNGHealthNews
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