QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

TUESDAY 28 August 2018

PNG’s Fake Free Health Care Policy hiding massive health care cuts.

Thankyou Mr Speaker,

My questions are directed to the Treasurer, on the false and misleading reporting on the 2018 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (the MYEFO) he released at the start of this month. My first set of questions in this Parliamentary Session will focus on his reporting of health expenditures.

Mr Speaker, the national government claims that everything is rosy and that revenues are coming in as expected. But, and this is a BIG but, if revenues are coming in so well, the opposition and the people of PNG are left wondering why are so many things being left unfunded? The 2018 budget was built on fake revenue forecasts which then led to promises of increased health expenditure. While we knew that the 2018 health budget still meant that funding per person in PNG had been massively cut from K217 per person in 2015 down to a promised K167 per person in 2018, the Treasurer was not being honest, that some of the earlier health funding cuts would be restored.

My Questions are:

  1. Treasurer, why is it that the MYEFO shows that there has been no expenditure on, or even warrant release, for your so-called “free health policy”? We know that this is a fake policy, indeed the World Bank recently has made clear that it is not even a new policy as free primary health care has been official policy since Independence 42 years ago! but the problem is that we are not getting money out into our rural health centres. So Treasurer, why is it that the K20 million set aside for free health care has had no funds actually released or spent? 
  1. Treasurer, in a very similar fashion, why is it that of the K50 million set aside in the 2018 budget for District and Rural Hospital nothing, not a single Kina, has been spent? Why is it that of the K30 million set aside in the 2018 budget for the ANGAU – Lae Cancer Unit, nothing, not a single Kina, has been spent? Why is it that of the K15 million set aside in the 2018 budget for the Wewak School of Nursing nothing, not a single Kina, has been spent? Why is it that of the K10 million set aside in the 2018 budget for the PNG Church Partnership Program which is already massively underfunded given its important health and education roles nothing, not a single Kina, has been spent?

 Treasurer, when will you admit to the people of PNG that the fake revenue in the 2018 Budget means that you made too many promises that you simply cannot keep such as all these broken promises in the health sector? And Treasurer, if the revenues were actually flowing in as you claim in the MYEFO and keep publishing in the newspapers, why aren’t such trumpeted health activities being funded?

 Thank you Mr Speaker!

HON.IAN LING-STUCKEY,CMG.MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TREASURY & FINANCE

 

Figures from 2018 MYEFO pp 64 and 65