10 Mar 2006

PNG opposition urges health care overhaul

11:32 am on 10 March 2006

Papua New Guinea's Opposition Leader says health services will continue to suffer unless public health sector management in the country is totally overhauled.

Peter O'Neill, issued the warning after the Government revealed that the Department of Health underspent its budget by almost 30 per cent last year.

Mr O'Neill is calling on the Prime Minister to demand explanations from Health Ministry officials for the department's serious shortcomings.

He says there's no excuse for the failure to spend the available budget and the Minister of Health and his Department Secretary should both be sacked.

He says their shortcomings include the perennial shortage of drugs in the country, their inability to resolve an industrial dispute with nurses and the absence of an incinerator at the Port Moresby General Hospital.