By LUKE KAMA
HEALTH Secretary Pascoe Kase has defended the performance of the country’s health sector, saying it was growing despite the hurdles and challenges it faced over the years.
He was responding to an online article published by blogger and commentator Keith Jackson which claimed Papua New Guinea’s health services had gone downhill very fast and now reached a danger point.
An independent report commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Port Moresby had assessed the efforts made by six multilateral development partners to improve the country’s health sector between 2011 and 2017.
It said only good reports were produced but the main challenges remained the same.
The six partners are the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund Activities (UNFPA), United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation.
Kase acknowledged the report and said good progress had been made effecting growth in the health sector.
“While I acknowledge that there are issues (as noted in the report), I would also like to highlight that the health sector has grown despite the many hurdles and challenges,” he said.
“I must say that we have come a long way with some milestone achievements and success stories to tell.
For example, we have made great strides in providing anti-retroviral medication to the community, stabilised malaria and we are addressing issues around tuberculosis.”
He told The National the ADB rural primary health service delivery project had provided community health posts close to the people.
“Other success stories include the provincial health authorities reform legislation bringing hospitals and rural health services under one structure, to provide tailored, efficient and improved quality of services to the community.”
Kase said they were tackling issues in a coordinated way.
He thanked the multilateral development partners for their support.
By LUKE KAMA