PNG Doctors At Mount Hagen General Hospital Resign En Masse

Hospital management, health department ignored petition demanding improvements

By Andrew Alphonse

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 22, 2016) – More than 20 doctors at Mt Hagen General Hospital in Western Highlands Province have voted unanimously to resign en masse and withdraw their services.

Nurses in support of the doctors also intend to meet today and walk off their jobs.

This life-threatening scenario developed last Friday when the doctors walked off their jobs.

Relations between the hospital staff and the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority have not been healthy for some time after doctors, supported by nurses and other allied health workers, presented a 70-page petition alleging mismanagement and corrupt practices at the hospital and at the provincial health authority.

National Doctors Association Highlands executive Dr Benjamin Yapo confirmed the mass resignation in a letter, dated June 17, to NDA president Dr James Naipo in Port Moresby.

Dr Yapo said the doctors would not be responsible or available to attend to patients under the care of the hospital as of last Friday afternoon.

He said this is in direct response to their petition not being answered to their satisfaction by the hospital management and the Health Department.

"There is no room for further negotiations, nor will our members give further grace period after we have given one too many grace periods based on our goodwill and understanding.

"We now ask your office (NDA) to enforce our decision with notice appropriately to the Health Minister, Heath Secretary and the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations," he said in the letter.

Dr Yapo said his office is in contact with all Highlands regional branches to seek members to reject any offer to cover at Mt Hagen hospital in their absence.

"Nor will our members within the Highlands region absorb patient influx from here in support of our stand.

"We are all united in this cause as one.

"This notice therefore concludes the work of our petition," Dr Yapo said.

He said further discussions on this issue should be handled by NDA headquarters in Port Moresby.

Hospital management said yesterday that the doctors have not handed in their resignation letters yet and the hospital was still operating despite the walkout by the doctors last Friday.

Two doctors are assisting at the accidents and emergency section of the hospital, management sources said.

PNG Post-Courier
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