MEMBER of Parliament for Auki/Langalanga, Matthew Wale says the amount of public funds and resources gone missing are simply too large to ignore.
Speaking on Wednesday in parliament on the Anti-corruption Bill, Wale says it is in their interest that public offices are protected from corruption. He says it is also in their interest that public services are protected from loss of government’s revenues and resources.
“We have had recent experience of Commissioners of Lands, Commissioners of Forests, Permanent Secretaries, Accounting staff facing charges of corruption. And this, it is said, is the tip of an ice-berg. The amount of public funds and resources that are lost to corruption are simply too large to ignore this problem in our public life”. He questions how much better funded could our healthcare system be if the resources lost to corruption were to be allocated to health?
“We run out of essential medicines for extended periods at a time. Yes, no doubt some of this is due to incompetence and mismanagement. But how much better would it be if there was adequate funding every year for medicines? The state of our hospitals and clinics is generally very poor, not to speak of the remuneration of healthcare professionals”.
He said much can also be said for the quality of our education system.
The Auki/Langalanga MP said schools are under resourced, poor quality facilities and poor remuneration of teachers.
“Corruption does have an impact on these public services. It adversely affects both the quality and the reach of those services to all our communities throughout these lovely islands. Some parts of the country never get to “feel” government because they do not access any government services in an entire year. The extent to which corruption deprives government of providing public services to these very remote communities is deplorable.
It is not right that there are no medicines at our hospitals and clinics. It is not right that avoidable deaths occur at our hospitals for lack of basic equipment. It is not right that some children do not go to school because there is not enough classrooms”.
Wale was one of the few Members of Parliament to contribute to the Anti-Corruption Bill.