BY GRACE AUKA-SALMANG
OUTGOING Health Minister Jelta Wong has been praised for his leadership during the most difficult period the sector has been through in the country’s history.
Health Minister Dr Lino Tom rightly described Mr Wong’s leadership, saying he rose with the times, delivered and carried the country through the difficult three years that the country has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I congratulate you and the staff of the Ministry of Health,” said Dr Tom.
Mr Wong, who is now Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, paid tribute to those who died while he was Minister of Health, namely the late Dr Paison Dakulala, the late Dr Evelyn Lavu and his first secretary, the late Benard Lukara.
“These three people were an inspiration to me for someone who knew nothing about the healthcare system and they really pushed me to try to do things better in healthcare,” Mr. Wong.
“It is with mixed feelings that I leave the Ministry of Health but in politics we are given different opportunities to go to different ministries.
“I took office as Minister of Health in 2019 at a time when the health status of the country was worrying with statistics trending towards a double burden of disease and at the same time facing COVID-19.”
He thanked all the staff in the health sector for accomplishing some of the things during these trying times.
“I did not work alone but we worked as a team to achieve the development of the National Health Plan 2022 to 2030, the full deployment of the 21 provinces of the PHA, the modifications of important legislations such as the law on the medical registration from 1980, the establishment of cancer services in Angau and Port Moresby and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country,” Mr Wong said.
“Being around a lot of healthcare professionals has taught me about empowering people and serving people.”