Minister for Health, HIV and AIDS Dr. Lino Tom, has spoken out on his plan that he has outlined for his ministry for the first 100 days in office.
Speaking at the parliament yesterday, he thanked the Marape-Rosso government for giving him the opportunity to take up the ministerial role as it is an integral part of the social sector and contributes to the greater aspect of human development.
While giving his ministerial statement he acknowledged his predecessors who had once been custodians of the ministry.
“As the population of Papua New Guinea continues to grow at a rate of 2.7%, according to the National Census 2011, with an estimated 9.1 million in 2020 and 12 million by 2030, we may have already surpassed these figures,” the minister said.
Therefore, the minister has stated that he now has set for himself 5 priorities he intends to achieve for the following 18 months.
These include establishing mechanisms to achieve the World Health Organizations (WHO) required ratio of health workforce to population of 4:1000, improve drug procurement in the country, increase infrastructure capacity to improve access to health services, improve governance and systems and making sure to review and audit all Provincial Health Authorities.
“The health of our people is the wealth of our nation. Loss of productivity through illness is a global issue and we must acknowledge it for what it is. It’s not only cash crops that bring much needed forex, it’s the people that make it happen.” the minister stated.
Dr. Lino believes that only 30% of the health challenges can be solved by the health sector through medical procedures; however, 70% are outside their capacity such as financing, accessibility, power supply, communication, law and order, Nutrition, literacy and accessibility to water supply for the community.
All these play a critical role in improving the health of our people.