The Public Health Emergency Bill (PHEB) Taskforce team led by the Attorney-General John Muria (Jnr) paid a courtesy visit to the Premier of Western Provincial Government Honorable David Gina yesterday.
The taskforce members are in Gizo, Western Province, for a one day PHEB consultation which starts today.
During the brief visit, the Attorney-General informed the premier and his officials on the PHEB consultations. “Honorable Premier and your officials, our team is pleased to inform you that the consultations tomorrow is to gather views and opinions from stakeholders to finalize the Public Health Emergency Bill for tabling in parliament in November. Once enacted it will replace the current State of Public Emergency which will expire at Midnight on 24th of November”.
“If enacted it will also enable a more effective and well-coordinated response to the COVID-19 global pandemic or other similar public health events of concerns. Because of the absence of a legislation that deals with public health events of concern such as COVID-19, the country had to rely on the State of Public Emergency for its COVID-19 preparedness and responses which should be in fact the last resort”, explained Mr. Muria.
In response, the Premier officially welcomed the Attorney-General and team acknowledging their efforts to make the courtesy visit as well as on the important work that is currently ongoing to prepare the health emergency bill.
“Thank you for the courtesy visit and sharing of information regarding work on the health emergency bill which we greatly appreciate. We hope you will have a constructive and fruitful engagement tomorrow and also do wish you and your team and enjoyable stay in Gizo”, stated Mr. Gina.
Following the courtesy visit the team also visited the Gizo hospital’s newly opened isolation ward, COVID-19 testing facility and the provincial health emergency operation center.
The PHEB task force members in Gizo for the consultations today includes Director NDMO Loti Yates, Deputy Secretary Ministry of Police and National Security Mr. Maktas Foray, Deputy Secretary Ministry of Environment Chanel Iroi, MHMS Under Secretary Health Care Dr. Greg Jilini, MHMS legal officer Yvonne Ogaoga.
The team will return to Honiara Wednesday this week.