Opposition Leader Don Polye has branded the government’s free health care and tuition fee free policies as ‘populist, failed and substandard’.
Mr Polye gave the name tag to these policies on learning that most schools had not fully received their TFF funds.
He also attributed it to non-funding of K40 million which was budgeted for tuberculosis programs in the country.
“Right under the noses of the Prime Minister and his health minister, most of our people have suffered from the consequences of withholding the K40 million,” said Mr Polye.
He also described the 2015 Budget as ‘failed’ as it had not been funded fully in light of funds being not available for their implementation.
Polye has described the ‘policies as “the Papua New Guineans with a master feeding his dogs with bones to divert their gaze on his meals or to ease their appetite’.
“Under the disguise of the populist policies, most of the funds belonging to the people have been siphoned or squandered by those in power through spending funds on non-economic viable areas,” he said.
He also learnt from the reports collected by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Service reform and service delivery that most health facilities had faced slashes to their budgetary allocations, shortage of medical supplies or were forced to charge patients fees.
“How can the O’Neill government claim to be genuine with its populist free health care policy? No, definitely not as it is only a hollow tactic to gain political support as the main objective.
“These policies are tactical but not economically strategic and sustainable. They are for political expediency and for short-term alleviation of poverty stress. The Opposition describes such populist approaches as giving Papua New Guineans fish but not teaching them how to farm and catch fish for themselves in a sustainable manner,” said Mr Polye.
He said the Opposition’s policy in health is holistic improvement in two-fold;
Reform the Health Service delivery structure and system so that all provincial hospitals are transformed into the referral hospitals and district health centres become district hospitals.
Training of medical skills in the various professions in huge numbers remains a top priority. More doctors, nurses, health workers, medical experts, technicians, technicians, technologists, specialists, scientists and managers need to be developed. Such will be implemented over a decade.
“The Opposition believes that improvement of governance and an increase in the upgrading and development of high quality medical, technical and managerial skills in enormous quantity will bring to an end 90 per cent of the problems we are facing today in the health sector.
“The Opposition embarks on quality educational skills development and consequently employment. The main objective is to ensure every child gets an employment after he or she completes her education,” said Mr Polye.
He said the Opposition was serious and believes in crafting and executing strategies and not short term populist tactics to gain political expediency.