Monday, 14 September 2009 2:45 PM

35% Reservation in Government Budget Hits Hard on Health Sector

The 35 % reservation imposed by the government on this year's budget has had an adverse effect on health and medical services throughout the country.

A team of health administrators told the Parliamentary inquiry into the quality of services at the national referral hospital last week.

Hospital chief executive officer, Douglas Ete, said the hospital budget decreased by over 4 million dollars as a result of the 35 percent reservation and, in part, by rising inflation.

Ministry of Health Undersecretary Dr Cedric Alependava said government has under-budgeted for a lot of health programs and services in this year's budget.

He said if it were not for aid donors like AusAid, the World Health Organisation and Global Fund, all public health programs and services will collapse.

Permanent Secretary Dr Lester Ross said the 35 percent budget reservation has had negative impacts on the country's health services.

"In schools you can tell the children to wait for next year if government does not have the money for them this year," said Dr Ross. "But you cannot tell the same thing to children who are sick, definitely the national referral hospital is an acute place, so we are to reserve funds within the health sector will just make things worse."

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province