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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 29) – First year doctors throughout Papua New Guinea walked off their jobs at 4:06 p.m. yesterday.

The doctors withdrew their services as a result of the Health Department and the Personnel Management’s long delay in approving their file numbers and paying their salaries.

In a letter to the Health Secretary Dr Nicholas Mann, the medical officers numbering 36 said they had collectively and unanimously agreed to withdraw their services for an indefinite period. The group’s spokesperson Dr Giyo Tosieru said: "The Health Department’s human resource management is fully aware that we have been working under demanding and stressful conditions for almost 12 weeks without pay. And yet when we wrote to the director, there has been no official response offered to the questions raised and to date, we are not aware of what is happening since the office is not in a position to inform us of the latest developments for unknown reasons. We are victims of what we view as gross administrative deficiency and neglect of our wellbeing and welfare by the department and other relevant authorities."

The problem, according to the doctors, had been going on for years but the relevant authorities, including the Health Department, had done nothing to address and rectify the situation.

This, they claimed, reflected the lack of commitment to addressing the welfare of trainee health care professionals by the relevant departments.

And the first year resident doctors have warned other residents in the allied health fraternity were silently suffering the same treatment and the situation could get worse.

PNG Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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