The National Government in partnership with the Church Health Services (PNG) has launched the GoPNG Payroll System Roll-Out to Christian Health Service Workforce in Port Moresby yesterday.
It’s a milestone achievement for PNG CHS in partnership with the National Department of Health (NDoH), the National Government, Department of Finance and its Alesco Payroll Service and the partners.
It means hundreds and thousands of doctors, nurses, and community health workers with church-run health services will now be on the Alesco Payroll System like other public servants throughout the country.
The launch culminated with the first 362 workers with the National Church Health Services (NCHS) receiving their pay with alerts from the banks for those who are on phone banking.
It was indeed a joyful occasion where the Chairman of the NCHS Japalis Kaiok expressed his emotions and thanked the National Government, Prime Minister James Marape and his leadership and vision to have the Government-Churches Partnership Program grow and ensure the issue of pay discrepancies and delays for church-run health care workers are a thing of the past.
Mr Kaiok thanked Prime Minister Marape and the Secretary to the Department of Prime Minister & NEC, Mr Ivan Pomaleu who was on hand to witness the occasion.
Secretary Pomaleu on behalf of the Prime Minister James Marape and National Government thanked the many church health workers both past and present, those living and dead who contributed immensely to the health care of the country whilst working with many of the different church health run clinics, aid posts and hospitals right throughout the country.
Secretary Pomaleu said he is happy to join them in this occasion and can see how happy the church health workforce is when their pay will be paid directly into their bank accounts through the GoPNG Payroll System.
He acknowledged the Church Health Services (PNG) for their presence and provision of health services in the country.
“I am here representing Prime Minister James Marape and more importantly as Head of the Public Service agency to celebrate a milestone with you all in the Church Health Services (PNG).
“It, the church, runs health services which include aid posts, clinics, health centers, nursing and community health worker training colleges, and others like HIV/VCT training and counselling centers, that is so important that I recognize and acknowledge your work.
“You have invited the Prime minister, and even though the Head of Government is not here with us, I am more than happy to be part of your achievement and our collective effort towards the provision of health care for our people and am happy to be with you all today,” he said.
Secretary Pomaleu said the Government fully supports and is so happy with the work they do to fit in areas where the Government is unable to reach the people and or partner and support the government in the health care provision.
He shared a personal experience as a child growing up within a family where his parents were involved in the church health services and his dad in the Education Sector.
Secretary Pomaleu said he can remember growing up by living on whatever food their family could produce in the garden and relied on fresh water and continued the work to provide education and health care to the people.
“I am a firm believer that what I am saying is what you are and in your own situation you can reflect the kind of work you do that most of the time go unnoticed but the God Lord will reward you all one fine time.
“I believe that the Lord said in the book of Exodus that in the 3rd and 4th generation you will live to see some of the fruits of the work and I can say that in your generation you may not see it all, but the next generation will live to see the hard work you do and what we have just launched.
“That in itself is the pride that we all must share, our future generation will reap the fruits of our hard work as called upon by our creator and Lord above, to care for the sick, anoint the ill and look after the elderly and sick, in providing basic health care and treatment.
“So on behalf of Prime Minister Marape I thank you all for your work and the National Government is happy to help out in ensuring that the Church Health Service workforce is put on the GoPNG Payroll System to stop some of the pay discrepancies and issues faced by our hard working nurses, doctors and community health workers under the many churches we have in our country.
“Many of our health workers who work in the church health services throughout Papua New Guinea will be happy and of course celebrating knowing that for the first time.
“For the first time we can guarantee the regularity of an income for your work. For the first time you can plan for your family’s financial needs as there is an income on a fortnightly basis,” said Secretary Pomaleu.
He said that he was more than happy to share the joy and celebration with the Church Health Service workforce.
Secretary Pomaleu said the Government makes laws, sets policies, sets the directions but often times it is the CHS that turns these policies into reality by delivering the health services that are most needed by our people in the rural parts of our country.
“Let me remind you all that often times your hands are the only hands that actually touch the lives of our people in our country.
“So under the theme: Recapture Christ’s Vision and Mission is toward the delivery of quality health care services, it is fitting for our health workers to emulate the feet of Jesus Christ in making some sacrifices but the commitments to provide health care services to people in most remote parts of our country and that is why we are here to celebrate today.
“Despite the hardships, the challenges and the lack of attention and support you need and the risks that you face on a daily basis you have continued to serve this country in the most remote parts relentlessly.
“I want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all church health workers around and across the country,” he said.
Secretary Pomaleu also acknowledged the leadership of the Church Health Services (PNG) for their work and needed continued support.
“I want to acknowledge you and add here that the country’s health services are not making a lot of progress and it won’t be unless we are able to empower the church health workers.
“I want to encourage and inform you that the leadership of this country under Prime Minister James Marape is behind the Church Health Services and that statement is a recognition of the significant development and contributions that our churches have made to the Health Sector.
“Where Government cannot go our churches are there and we are indebted and grateful to you all for that great partnership that we have established.
“There was a thought that having church health care workers on the payroll was only a dream but now it is a reality,’’ said Secretary Pomaleu.
He added that it is not easy to get to this stage and thanked those who worked hard, consulted and made sure that important decisions were made to launch the entry of the Church Health Workforce into the Alesco Payroll System.
“It is now the work of those responsible to make sure that we get everyone in the Church Health Services into the Alesco Payroll System and it may be a while so be patient as we will get there.
“We thank those who have been involved to get this in to Finance, Treasury, the National Department of Health, and of course the team from the Church Health Services, that this much awaited activity has come to fruition and as we launch this on behalf of Government, the Prime Minister wants to acknowledge you all for having that hard work and vision to bring us to this point.
“I offer a word of congratulations to every one of you and it’s a long time coming and it’s a very important step.
“Well done and to conclude I want to say that the place I grew up in had a health center, had one nurse and she worked hard and we enjoyed it.”
“Continue to serve those in our remote parts and continue the mission you have all been called upon”.