Health Partnership agreement signed
A MEMORANDUM of Understanding was signed between the Department of Health and Christian Health Services on the effective delivery of health services in the country during the 47th Annual CHS conference in April in Port Moresby.
This is another milestone achievement for the National Department of Health and Christian Health Services (PNG) as they had been working purely on mutual understandings for the last thirty – forty years since the inception of CHS.
The MoU signed is a way forward for both CHS and NDoH forming the basis of a working partnership for the common good of providing health services throughout the country.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the government had now come to realise that churches are providing the majority of health services especially in the rural areas. He acknowledged that although the government had built health facilities, but were not eff ective compared to church health facilities.
Kase said: “Church health services operate right down at the rural areas and the government would like to partner with CHS to utilise existing church run health facilities such as hospitals by providing funding. All management aspects will be left to the church agency to do. The government will just fund the hospitals services.”
A clear example was the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Jiwaka which had recently been upgraded to a provincial hospital with support from the Health Department and the Jiwaka Governor Dr Willie Tongamb. Mr Kase said this was another achievement for CHS to have one of its hospitals recognised as a provincial hospital in the country.
He added that the government through the Health Department would not interfere with the running of the hospital. This would be left to the Church health agency while government provided the funding.
“We have had a lot of talk and about the budget cuts to health which was an oversight and has been rectified. 2017 is a trying time for PNG as a whole. I urge all health managers to prioritise and use whatever funds you have wisely until after the elections,” Kase said.
He also urged health workers not to shut down their clinics and health facilities because of late funding but to keep their clinics open because it was their duty to serve the people.
“Please do not give an excuse that there is no money or little patients. You must keep your facility open so that people can access the basic services.” Mr Kase said.
The signing of the MoU is another step forward for the National Department of Health and Christian Health Services as equal partners in the provision of health service in the country.
Meanwhile, NDOH and CHS(PNG) are working on a Public Private Partnership Agreement at the Service Level under the overarching MoU.
This agreement will be between the provinces Provincial Health Authority (PHA) , Church Health Agency in that province, DDAs, NGOs and Industries providing health services. It will strengthen partnerships in providing effective health care at the district and provincial level.