PNG Catholic health service facing big funding cut

Health services run by the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea are under pressure after a major funding cut by the PNG Government.

The facilities provided by the Church cover a third of PNG’s health services, through more than 200 sites around the country.

Catholic Church Health Services of Papua New Guinea runs five rural hospitals, 244 health facilities, 29 standalone VCT (voluntary counselling and testing) centres, a nursing school and four community health worker training schools.

Many of these facilities are in the remote highlands. They are staffed by more than 3000 people.

The funding cuts amount to US$15million.

The director of Catholic Church Health Services, Justine McMahon, said the PNG government has reduced its support to the level paid in 2014 and for some staff this will mean 40 per cent pay cuts.

She said they will lose staff.

“Staff will have to be put off but other staff will leave because they will not put up with that level of cut.”

A warning was also issued that staffing impacts would affect local economies.

The CCHS took out a full page advertorial in a major PNG newspaper to warn of the impacts of the cuts.

Last Wednesday, PNG health minister Michael Malabag told the nation’s parliament that the health system would not be compromised by the cuts.

But this week he said that the PNG cabinet was being asked to consider reinstating the cuts.

PNG’s health ministry has also asked the national executive council to reinstate the funding.

A slump in global commodity prices has impacted the PNG Government’s revenues.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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