A NATIONWIDE health crisis is imminent in Papua New Guinea’s districts and provinces, especially in the church-run health services, says Oro Governor Garry Juffa.
Gov Juffa said the government had promised to maintain these services, but they have not been funded.
He added that nurses planned to go on strike because they have not been paid on time.
Juffa told Loop PNG that he had met with the Anglican Health Services in Oro Province and was told that they have not received any budget allocations since July.
“This was when the government had indicated it was going to cut K50 million allocated to church-run health services.
“Upon verification, it appears that this is the case nationwide.”
Juffa said that, after struggling without any funds, the services are gradually scaling down and are on the verge of closure with only the most urgent needs to be met.
He stressed that the church-run programs provide basic medical care for more than 50% of the PNG population, especially people in rural areas.
“Without these vital services, citizens in the lower income bracket especially subsistence farmers will be significantly vulnerable in grave danger of death.
“Several church-run aidposts have already been closed in Oro, including Ajoa, Nindoware and Kewansesap,” he said.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Don Polye, in his independence message yesterday, said PNG has committed and competent health workers.
Polye said yet church agencies are closing aid posts and health centres because they have not been funded.
“Our mothers and babies die because the government has decided to fund massive stadiums in Port Moresby but not to fund rural health services.
“We all want a future for our young people. This can be built by education and training which fits them for employment and self-employment,” said Polye.
“We all want a society where our lives and property are safe.”