$29m for health


THE Ministry of Health and Medical Service has been allocated only $29 million in next year’s budget following a cut of $2million from its original submission.
This came after the ministry had submitted $31 million to Ministry of Finance and Treasury for consideration.
However, when the budget was released, there was a reduction of $2 million.
The ministry’s budget focuses on the primary, secondary and tertiary health care around the country.
Permanent secretary, Dr TennethDalipanda confirmed this when he appeared before Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament last week.
The PAC had scrutinized the $3.9 billion budget.
Dr Dalipanda said the ministry usually had $30 million in the last four to five years.
However, he said with this budget, it will affect the relocation of National Referral Hospital, upgrading of Kilu’ufi hospital in Malaita and Kirakira in Makira Ulawa.
The PS said there should be an additional priority for the relocation of National Referral Hospital (NRH).
“I mean the NRH relocation should have a new amount in the development budget for the ministry.
“If we use the same amount, that will give us a new addition to the development budget,” he said.
As such, Dr Dalipanda said the National Referral Hospital cannot maintain its services and the provincial hospitals will struggle.
“We have asked for a separate Cabinet submission for relocation of National Referral Hospital, Kilu’ufi and Kirakira to maintain bottom line of development budget,” he said.
There are about 11 hospitals, 27 area health centres, 117 rural health centres and 119 nursing aid posts in the country.