8 May 2009

PNG union wants compulsory health insurance

2:47 pm on 8 May 2009

The Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress says a compulsory health insurance scheme similar to Medicare in Australia must be introduced for all workers.

The TUC general secretary, John Paska, says many workers and their families are missing out on decent, affordable health care and are forced to buy cheap drugs that have not been vetted by the medical board.

Mr Paska says a call for compulsory health insurance was first made about two years ago and met strong resistance from members of the Government and insurance lobby groups.

He says most private sector employers are shirking their responsibilities and have left health care costs entirely to the State and their employees.

Mr Paska says the time for an overhaul of the health care system with regard to health insurance for workers in PNG is long overdue.

He says it is an unavoidable issue by any government or employers.