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Recall Kase back as Health Secretary

By Jacob Marcos

The National Government of Papua New Guinea and its NEC should take back former Health secretary Pascoe Kase as health secretary.

Mr. Kase moved out of his office when his term expired on the 20/01/20 after being the longest serving health secretary.

He was raised in the health and had become leader of health in the country for two consecutive terms. By far, Mr. Kase had been a best secretary for health as that was highly alluded by observers and international partners like WHO, DEFAT and UNICEF.

Mr. Kase is believed to be leaving a gap behind and it will be a lengthy, costly and hazardous process for the National Department of Health (NDoH) to take back health at this time.

The country experience low growth rate (3%) and shortage of foreign exchange currencies, etc. which made the health in the brink of collapse. We have the economic crises ploughed by outbreaks like Polio, Measles and Rubella and Ebola epidemic in 2014. Clinically, Mr. Kase has the experience to manage outbreaks and emergencies. We now hear of the coronavirus to deal with too.

Health has a lot of challenges and responsibilities ahead during these worst days. This day of any new person would allow for blame games and finger pointing to happen thus misappropriation of funds. There is possibility also of being politized given the fact, we are also nearing the 2022 National Elections.

Let Mr. Kase continue from where he left and correct from where he was drilled by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and he can step up and add on from where he left.

The National Department of Health (NDoH) is huge and complex to administer. It is not only Waigani Aiopa administration building alone or like POM General Hospital or a Provincial Health Authority.

“Health Department is complex, having more than 1000 employees in various health cadres, and scattered throughout the country, including rural areas many of which are not linked by road.”

We need extrovert leaders in the health than introverts with concentrated hearts and minds. We need people who can touch people out there not only with their qualifications but with their personalities too.

We should not be quick at concluding Mr. Kase as “corrupt” but no, he did well and he technically championed the PAC hearing. He is far better and hero to rest of his technical officers because Mr. Kase as an accountable person, he received the whacks on their behalf.
Note also that the PAC is new to the country and it tried its test on the NDoH and for the first time in history, Mr. Kase will have a story to tell.


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