The National Government has committed K500 million for the redevelopment of Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital over the next 3-4 years.
It will make available an initial K50 million next year to start the ground work for the facility which will be upgraded to a major referral hospital for the Highlands region.
Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neil MP announced his government’s assistance at Kotna in the Dei District of Western Highlands recently during a ground breaking ceremony for the upgrading of Kotna Health Centre to a District Hospital.
Member for Dei, Hon Wesley Nukundi MP has made available K5.8 million from his District Service Improvement Program (DSIP) funds to renovate existing buildings and construct new wards, staff houses and other facilities to upgrade the facility.
Prime Minister O’Neil said health, education, infrastructure development, law & order and economic growth were important for the country’s development and the government would continue to give priority to these key areas.
He said districts received a lot of money in the form of the DSIP funds (K10 million each year) and everyone should work together to deliver essential services such as health which was an important infrastructure for the people.
Hon O’Neil was in Mt Hagen recently with some of his Cabinet Ministers including Health Minister, Hon Michael Malabag MP and former Prime Ministers and current Governors, Sir Michael Somare MP, Sir Julius Chan MP, Paias Wingti MP and Sir Rabbie Namaliu for the launching of the Western Highlands Provincial Headquarters.
Mr. Malabag said health was a very big priority area in the social sector along with education and urged the people to look after schools and health facilities that were provided for them.
He said health was allocated K1.4 billion in the national budget this year and big things would be happening to hospitals including the upgrading of referral hospitals such as Port Moresby General Hospital, Angau, Nonga, Boram and Mt Hagen.
He added that the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority Board and Management had done a very fantastic job among the three pioneer provincial health authority provinces of Milne Bay and Eastern Highlands and this was reflected in the Government’s recognition and funding of its new plans to develop Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital to a major referral hospital.
Mr. Malabag said the Member for Dei had done a good job in helping to improve health services in the district and the Health Ministry and the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority would ensure much needed health equipment for the new hospital were procured, adding that a fully equipped former South Korean army ambulance would be delivered to Kotna in October this year.
New Ireland Governor and former Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan said before doing the ground breaking for the launching of Kotna District Hospital that free education was good but good health would help everyone to prosperity.
“We are on a new threshold to a new PNG. Now is the time for everyone to co-operate for service delivery, not to fight each other”, he said adding that what was happening in Dei was in the right direction.