PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (14 June 2019) — Health financing in Papua New Guinea (PNG) can be improved through better transparency and accountability initiatives, including having better information systems for finance, human resources and payroll, health information, as well as drugs and medical supplies, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report launched today.

Developed in partnership with Papua New Guinea’s Department of Health, the report, titled Line of Sight, explores the complexities of health financing in the country, provides recommendations to improve the performance of the national health system, and highlights the importance of good governance in health financing. The report noted that substantial improvements in health services can be achieved through more efficient allocation of the existing financial resources dedicated to the health sector.

“ADB remains committed to building on our 40-year partnership in PNG’s health sector,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Ms. Carmela Locsin. “Looking towards the future, through the ADB-supported Health Services Sector Development Program, ADB will enhance the quality of service delivery and help improve health outcomes across the country, while supporting rural health systems and public financial management in PNG.”

The report points out that strengthening health information systems; improving the sector’s capacity to analyze, track, communicate, and influence both the health system and the wider government apparatus; as well as promoting collaboration among various stakeholders are critical areas needed to help the PNG government achieve its goal of providing comprehensive health care services to its citizens.

Line of Sight noted that many of the government’s reform initiatives are already contributing to positive changes in the health sector, while others may be tweaked to achieve maximum impact. For example, the National Department of Health and Provincial Governments are establishing provincial health authorities across all provinces to coordinate and lead provincial health systems and drive the delivery of quality health services at the provincial, district, and local levels.

Health financing can successfully play a key role in the government’s efforts to achieve better health outcomes, which can reverse the recent deterioration in health service delivery in PNG, according to the report.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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