Yep, the Hon. Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Minister Sasa Zibe popped into Immanuel Lutheran Rural Hospital on a surprise visit.
It was an unofficial visit but here in rural PNG, it is very uncommon for MPs to visit rural hospitals so we were happy and surprised. We took the opportunity to show him the hospital environment and impress on him our challenges and needs. Especially our project proposals that require funding.
Here some shots of the visit.
So we did not waste the opportunity to present our needs to the minister.
It was encouraging because Minister Zibe has been focusing on rural health and the new health plan is directed at improving service delivery to the rural areas.
We especially would like the right people and the right mechanisms in place to implement the new PNG health plan. Our CEO emphasised the need for the National Government to give more to the churches medical agencies.
PNG missionaries from Morobe along with American Lutheran missionaries first settled in Wapenamanda before spreading to the rest of the Enga Province so for the Minister, who is also from Morobe Province and being a Lutheran it was more like home-coming. He was well received.
I personally think more MPs should do more unofficial/unannounced visit to their electorates or ministries and see for the themselves the real situation. As one of the staff representative and community leader said to the minister, “most times when the visits are official, the occasion is planned and choreographed and the sometimes the MPs are conned into seeing something that is not real”.
We were happy that the minister came unannounced but it was all business as usual for us.