Statement by Health Secretary Dr Osborne Liko
The Post Courier ran a front-page story on 27 September 2021, noting that Western Highlands PHA would close the Mt Hagen General Hospital if outstanding warrants and additional funds to support its COVID-19 effort are not provided to the hospital urgently.
As soon as I was informed on 21 September 2021, of the need for additional COVID-19 funds from Western Highlands, I commenced discussions with the Government of Papua New Guinea and partners to seek additional funding support for the Hospital. These conversations continue as supporting our PHAs to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is a priority. I have been advised separately that a warrant for some of the PHA’s outstanding operational budget allocation was issued by the Department of Treasury on Friday 24 September 2021.
Western Highlands PHA, as with all other PHAs in the country, have received direct COVID-19 funds from the Government of PNG as well as donors. In total, Western Highland PHA has received PGK3.6 million in direct COVID-19 support with ongoing funding for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This is in addition to the PHA’s normal operational budget.
The COVID-19 support provided to PHAs is not just in direct funding support but also in equipment and consumables. For example, Western Highlands PHA has received or will receive:
- Blood Gas Analyzer machine
- Defibrillator machine
- Electrocardiogram machine
- Portable Ultrasound Image Diagram machine
- Bed-side/mobile x-ray machine
- Zoll Ventilators
- Patient monitors
- ICU ventilators and accessories.
- Biosafety cabinets
- Oxygen Concentrators
- Central Monitors
- Digital Radiographic Systems
There are many people working across Government and partners to provide the COVID-19 support required to all PHA’s across the country. I acknowledge and commend the hard work of the staff at each PHA. The work you are doing is invaluable and is saving countless lives.
I would like to take this time to advocate for people to take the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 is very real and we must protect our families by getting vaccinated.
Image courtesy: O.Adams PNG