29 May 2017

Lack of funds hit health services in Bougainville

2:50 pm on 29 May 2017

Health centres are going without medicine, services have been cut, and infrastructure is going unbuilt as a lack of funds in Bougainville continues to bite.

Bougainville childrens' camp

Photo: supplied

The autonomous Papua New Guinea region says the national government has not paid promised funds at all this year, which is having a crippling effect.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, signed in 2001, Port Moresby is compelled to make annual payments to the regional government.

But Bougainville's vice president, Raymond Masono, said the government had not received any of the budgeted money this year, which continues a trend of Port Moresby short-changing the region.

"There are a lot of areas not accessing health services because of a lack of medicine, there are also a lot of areas that are not accessible because the roads cannot reach them. Law and order; we need to make the police service more effective, but we can't do that if we don't have the resources. All these services rely heavily on the grants from the national government."

Raymond Masono said he believed the non-payment was a deliberate tactic by the national government to influence the outcome of an indpendence referendum due in 2019.

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