Despite high spending, health still lacking in PNG

Public spending on health in PNG is higher than other countries that have similar Gross National Income.

Despite higher spending on health, many of PNG’s health outcomes fare worse than countries with similar income levels.

This is according to World Bank’s biannual series titled Papua New Guinea’s Economic Update- Putting the spotlight on health.

Improving the efficiency of spending will be an important priority given the current fiscal challenges and the poor performance of current spending.

Decentralization of the health system has led to complex and fragmented accountabilities for allocating and using funds.

The report further notes that severe cash flow issues are key constraints to effective service delivery, and disbursement delays are widespread at the subnational level, where funds are transferred between provincial treasuries to provincial health offices, PHA’s and districts which then procure goods for health facilities

Ensuring health services for the roughly 80 per cent of Papua New Guineans who live in rural PNG remains critical.

The paper recommends PNG to strengthen public financial management systems and budget to increase health spending efficiency and prioritise frontline service delivery.




Carolyn Ure