PNG Health costs hiked by 75 percent

PORT MORESBY, 28 NOVEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – Health care costs in Papua New Guinea have sky-rocketed by a massive 75 per cent under the current government.

This is according to Shadow Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey when releasing official figures from the Bank of PNG’s Quarterly Economic Bulletin under the new CPI group for the June 2012 to March 2018 period.

It shows the index of health care costs has increased from 100 to 174.7 – a 75 per cent increase from March 2012. “What you used to be able to buy for K10 in health services back in 2012 will now cost you K17.50 in 2018,” Ling-Stuckey said.

“The PNC Government continues to talk about its fake free health care policy.

“Instead, official figures from the Bank of PNG indicate that health costs are out of control. “This is just another sign of how this government doesn’t understand the high cost of living affecting PNG families.”

Ling-Stuckey said in his budget reply he had emphasised the health crisis facing the country.

“Polio is back, malaria and TB are on the increase, medicines are not available, the standard of health services continues to decline in rural areas,” he said.

“Our doctors are telling us this is the case, but the PNC politicians are in denial. “The cut in funding to the health sector in the 2019 Budget after allowing for inflation is a national disgrace.

“The so-called “free health care” policy of this government was always a sham and the recent figures from BPNG confirm it is a sham.

“If there was a new free health care policy, one would expect health costs to decrease. Instead, they are exploding.

“When the Government recalls Parliament, as it must do to correct its massive oversight in ‘forgetting’ to fund necessary debt repayments of K11.1 billion (US$3.4 billion) (billion, not million), and to correct its ‘administrative oversight’ in not funding Bougainville, we should increase funding to the health sector and set in place better policies for reducing health care costs.

“A thorough investigation into the shonky procurement deals for medical supplies would be a good start. I will continue to call for more honesty in Government,” he said.

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