Over K23m in outstanding grants for CHS

The PNG Christian Health Services is yet to receive its remaining grants for 2017.

The outstanding amount totals K23,043,446.

This balance is for the salary and operational grants in the last four months from September to December.

From the total of K70,533,836 appropriated for 2017, CHS already received K10 million for operations and K44m for salary.

The outstanding means CHS workers in 464 facilities through the country have not been paid their salary since September.

According to the deputy chairman of the board, Rev. James Koi, CHS received a cheque of K17,765,542 in December last year. But this is yet to be presented to the bank as CHS awaits a correct version of the release letter.

Rev. Koi says once this K17m cheque is cleared, the total funding cut will be reduced to K5,277,904 for CHS from the 2017 appropriation.

In the meantime, the body is appealing to the government to come through with the grants.

CHS CEO Ulch Tapia said the fact that the grants include salary is just upsetting.

“If it was just operational grants, we wouldn’t mind. But salary is a critical component and this is a sad situation we are left with.

“Our officers are in the field; they need money to survive and to continue to provide services,” he said.

CHS said this delayed tactic has crippled its service delivery, especially in remote areas, where they cover almost 80 percent of PNG’s population.

Over the month, each agencies may scale down operations.

“This situation is more urgent now than two months ago. But we will not go on strike as closure of health facilities is not an option for the entire CHS. We call on the government to look into addressing this issue.”

Gloria Bauai