Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM MARAPE LAUNCHES 10-YEAR NATIONAL HEALTH PLAN

Papua New Guineans across the length and breadth of the country should expect quality healthcare service delivery “within an hour’s reach” by the Year 2030, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has said.
 
The Prime Minister issued this directive to the Department of Health, especially the Health Secretary and the heads of the Provincial Health Authorities (PHA), as he summarised the National Health Plan 2021 – 2030 before launching it in Port Moresby today.
 
With the Health sector receiving one of biggest slices of the budgetary pie at 11 percent in next year’s budget (the highest to date since Independence), PM Marape did not mince his words when he told the PHA heads that this was “not an academic plan” and that they must “connect the dots”, absorb the plan, and begin executing it.
 
He said: “I summarise the plan into this – a quality health system and facilities must be within reach in an hour by walking, by boat, by vehicle, or by a plane for our people wherever they are in the country.
 
“Health is our people’s fundamental right; it is our moral responsibility to provide good health care to our people."
 
Along the same vein, the Prime Minister said he didn't want to see any more "medical tourists to Singapore, Philippines or elsewhere by 2031".
 
He continued: “PHAs heads, I come to you because you stand beneficiary in the devolution of functions that already is being transferred to you. As you sit in on your PHAs, the Health Secretary does not know who is living one hour away or two hours away from the aid post or the health centre. It is you.
 
“Health is our peoples’ fundamental right. That is why we have given you a greater allocation this year when Covid-19 exposed a total deficiency we have inherited in our health care system.
 
“A country with only 200 ICU beds is totally shocking for us. A nation of 8 million people having 200 ICU beds right across the country is not something that we can be proud of.”
 
The Prime Minister also made it clear to the PHAs to “stay away from the K15 million" allocation earmarked for provincial hospitals, while the departments of Health and National Planning & Monitoring worked on a more practical, watertight, and comprehensive programme for PNG's hospitals. These new programmes are being worked out with the support of a development partner for 22 modern hospitals for the country.
 
 “So we must make strategic interventions synchronised with my view that all hospitals, health centers and community aid posts must be one hour within walking distance or by a mode of transport for our citizens for necessary reliable health care within their reach for any level of health needs," the Prime Minister said.
 
With the spotlight on Health beginning next year, PM Marape said this would continue over the years with similar allocations in every budget till 2030 even if he didn’t return as head of the country.
 
The launch of this, the 7th National Health Plan since Independence, comes exactly a week after the passing of the 2022 National Budget, which is projected to set Papua New Guinea’s feet on the road to debt-recovery by the Year 2027.
 
Also with a forecast of a K200 million economy by the Year 2030, the 7th National Health Plan has received the direct design oversight of the Prime Minister to add value to the overall economic goal as, he said, “a healthy population means a healthy economy”.
 
Health is receiving K2.8 billion in the 2022 National Budget, or 11 percent of the expenditure – the highest to PNG health since Independence.
 
Among significant areas worth highlighting is the allocation of K50 million toward the cancer facility at the Port Moresby General Hospital - another first within the health sector budget. 
 
Besides this is the creation of 5,000 positions for additional health care workers which the Department of Personnel Management is now facilitating. This would later be migrated into the permanent structure.
 
PM Marape also highlighted areas within Health that also needed immediate attention beginning next year, including medical research and the elevation of the standard of the PNG medical board to nothing less than “world class”.

PRIME MINISTER MARAPE GIVES ASSURANCE TO INVESTORS OF GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO WORK WITH THEM

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has assured investors in the Mining and Petroleum Sector that the Papua New Guinea Government is committed to working and seeing the investors' investments and the PNG economy grow.
 
The Prime Minister assured the investors on the first day of the 2021 PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference and Exhibition held virtually and in person at the Hilton, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and the Hilton, Brisbane Australia.
 
He also emphasized again the independence of the judiciary in the country and informed the attendees of the conference that the Government is fully committed to honouring all legally binding agreements that have been made and will be made with investors in the sectors.
 
Prime Minister Marape added that despite the fluidity of the political climate in the country, with the upcoming 2022 National General Elections, all legally binding agreement that have been signed between the State of Papua New Guinea and a developer will be honored even after the governments change.
 
"The sectors contribute up to 26 - 30 per cent of Papua New Guinea's economy and makes up about 80 per cent of our exports annually," he said.
 
"Papua New Guinea is a business address for well over 5000 Australian Businesses and has hosted and hosts world class companies like Placerdom, BHP, ExxonMobil, Barrick Gold Limited, JX Nippon, TOTAL, Newcrest Mining Limited, Harmony Gold and Santos."
 
He further added that Papua New Guinea is an exciting investment destination because of its close proximity to the Asian markets and that it is especially good for investors in the petroleum sector because of the history we have with Asia is terms of a long term agreement with Osaka Gas to export 1.5 million tonnes of LNG to Japan over a period of 20 years, which stated towards the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.
 
Prime Minister Marape said Papua New Guinea has also played a vital role in the rise of Oil Search into a top oil and gas developer from its humble beginnings with just a portfolio in the country to having oil and gas fields in Yemen, Egypt, Libya, the Kurdistan region of Iraq and Alaska.
 
He said Oil Search is a successful company that came out of Papua New Guinea and will move into the top 20 oil and gas producer upon its merger with Santos, which is pending shareholder and regulatory approval.
 
The Prime Minister also informed the participants of the conference that the Government's recently passed budget does not include estimate revenues from Papua LNG, P'nyang, Porgera, Wafi-Golpu and Pasca. The revenue from these projects will be like a bonus for the country once they come on board.
 
The Prime Minister is also urging all stakeholders of all the five upcoming projects to keep liaising with the Government to get the projects off the ground. He further urged them to talk or write to the Government about issues they would like address to progress negotiations and to refrain from speaking to the media about all issues pertaining to ongoing negotiations.

PRIME MINISTER MARAPE LAUNCHES SEVERAL PROJECTS IN WEST SEPIK

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP launches several impact projects yesterday (06/12/21) in West Sepik during his official visit to the province.

Prime Minister Marape said the day of his visit is a milestone day, not only to officially open the new West Sepik Provincial Administration Building but also to announce other impact

projects.

"I want to acknowledge the leadership of the Governor of West Sepik, Hon. Tony Wowo, who did not wait for the National Government. Instead, he when ahead and used the funding given

to the Provincial Government and the province’s internal revenue to build the new Provincial Assembly Building," he said.

"It is not easy to have a vision and to bring it to reality.”

Prime Minister Marape said the West Sepik Province is one of few provincial assemblies in the country to own and work from a new building.

He said the National Government will be giving an additional K4 million for other expenditures that will make the building ready for use.

"As I am now standing at the new Provincial Assembly Building, I will take the opportunity to make some announcements of projects for West Sepik,” Prime Minister Marape said.

"The new Vanimo wharf that will be built here by a South Korean company will cost about USD200 million. This is the closest port for us to export to Asia."

He said once the Vanimo Port is completed, the Provincial Government will have a percentage of share in the revenue that will be generated by the port.

The Prime Minister said another project is the road that will connect Vanimo to Wewak. The first stage of the construction under the Connect PNG program, K200 million has been

allocated and contract is ready to be issued.

"This road will connect Vanimo back to Wewak so you can go shopping in Wewak and you can take short amount of time to travel instead of the long time that it takes now," he said.

"The road from Telefomin to Tabubil is another K200 million project where a new road will be cut."

The Prime Minister added that for the development of West Sepik, the Government has put K15 million in the budget to build a new modern hospital in Vanimo.

He also announced that the Government will be giving K5 million to the province to build a Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) college for the young people of West Sepik.

 

PM MARAPE: GOVERNMENT IS FOCUSED ON HEALTH IN 2022 BUDGET

 
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the 2022 Budget places more focus on the Health Sector than ever before.
 
He said this at Bautama in Central today (Monday November 29) when launching the K500 million 300-bed Central Provincial Hospital for the people of Central and Papua New Guinea.
 
The Prime Minister said costs of roads, houses, electricity and other infrastructure in the new Central City at Bautama – adjoining the hospital - would take costs up to K700 million.
 
“This is a very-timely moment, especially on the back of us going into Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday November 30) to pass our 2022 Budget – a Budget that has greater focus on the health sector in our country,” PM Marape said.
 
“Health is receiving over K2.6 billion of the K22 billion Budget, in fact, 11.2 per cent total allocation.
 
“This is possibly the first time in the last 46 years we’ve been a nation, for Health Sector to receive the biggest allocation - ahead of Education and many other sectors in our country.
 
“This is a case in point that we are serious about our people’s health issues.
 
“Health comes first, we cannot compromise lives and livelihood of our people.”
 
PM Marape said Central featured prominently in the 2022 Budget allocation to the Health Sector and this would continue next year onwards.
 
“The story will continue, the journey will continue, until, hopefully in 2025, we will be able to come here again on this ground when a brand-new 300-bed hospital is delivered not just for Central Province but for the country,” he said.
 
PM Marape said one good thing about COVID-19 was that it showed that the Health Sector was “totally deficient” in attending to the pandemic and other diseases, including only 200 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds.
 
“COVID-19 has pointed us to the fact that we do not have the health system and capacity to handle severe outbreaks of any disease,” he said.
 
“In 2021, we made a conscious choice that investment in the health system will be ramped up, something that our generation of leaders can give to our country.
 
“This is so that by 2025, when our Nation celebrates 50 years of Independence, we have a better reformed health care system in our country.
 
“This is evident in 11. 2 per cent of the total 2022 Budget going to the Health Sector, and that will be ramped up as we go into 2023, 2024 and 2025.
 
“Hopefully, we will have 22 world-class hospitals in our country delivered by then, or if not delivered, taking shape.
 
“I want Central Provincial Hospital to be delivered by 2025.”