Thursday, October 6, 2011

Involve local communities

The National - Thursday 06th October, 2011
PNG may have one of the best key authorities’ documents (KAD) in terms of health policies, structure and strategic plans of deli­vering healthcare services, and how the community can be involved in the Pacific region.
They are clearly outlined in the KAD such as National Health Plan (NHP) but, for decades, the health status of people has deteriora­ted from bad to worse compared to other smaller Pacific countries such as Fiji and Vanuatu.
The KAD clearly spells out how the healthcare services will be executed but, in most cases, are not enforced.
As a health management student, I see that community participation is vital in delivering quality healthcare services.
But this has been overlooked by the decision-makers in the health sector.
The objective of provi­ding any healthcare service is to improve overall health status of the people and to make basic health services accessible and affordable in remote areas.
Millions of kina have been invested in this sector by both the government and foreign donors but to no avail.
To better deliver this service, the government needs to review the KAD and include the participation of the local communities according to their needs.
Healthcare, like education, is a right for every PNG citizen and the 87% of our people living in the remote areas deserve to get quality health services.
Unfortunately, more than 50% of aid posts nationwide are empty.
The government, through the health department, needs to educate the implementers on the importance of KAD and how to interpret them in order to deliver quality healthcare services with responsibility and accountability.

Wakuc Essaya

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