The Provincial Health Authorities (PHAs) have come under the gaze of the prime minister after concerns were raised about how these health authorities are operating and their use of funds for health sector administration in the provinces.
Prime Minister (PM) James Marape in parliament today, without revealing too much about the 2024 budget allocation for the health sector, said that health will continue to be a major priority.
“We are ramping up more allocation to the health sector. The health sector will continue to receive great support,” said the PM.
“I will ask the health minister to present all PHA reports to this parliament and we take a stock as to what is happening in respective PHAs across the country.”
He said PHAs are operating autonomously, meaning they run their own operations without answering really to anyone.
Marape said in 2021, the government gave more funds straight to PHAs for work such as data collection, health service delivery and the main administration of the health sector in the provinces, which is the main priority of the PHAs.
But, the concern here is what they are really doing if they don’t answer to the health department and the government.
Marape said his government discovered as well that some PHAs have been recruiting people without any medical background into positions in the PHAs. This was discovered in 2020 when COVID- 19 hit the country.
As such, he said parliament made amendments late last year to make PHAs be accountable to the National Department of Health and will continue to monitor this in real time.