Lacking Doctors And Nurses, PNG’s Mt Hagan General Hospital Closes

Critical patients being transferred to other provincial hospitals, less severe cases being treated at health centers

By Siba Mesa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 23, 2016) – The Mt Hagen General Hospital has closed as of yesterday as doctors and nurses stayed away from work over their dispute with the provincial health authority.

The Western Highlands provincial health authority was forced to move out inpatients to other hospitals and health centres and surrounding provinces. Patients with less critical ailments will be receiving treatment at health centres in the province while the critically ill will be moved to hospitals in other provinces.

Acting chief executive officer David Mokela said he is making arrangements with other provincial hospitals to receive the critically ill patients.

Doctors and nurses have defied a court order taken out by the provincial health authority restraining them from resigning and ordered them to return to work.

[PIR editor's note: On June 23, 2016 PNG Post-Courier reported that 'Health Secretary Pascoe Kase has appealed to striking doctors and nursing staff at Mount Hagen General Hospital to return to work immediately. ... He said yesterday that "properly qualified and experienced personnel from the departments of Personnel Management, Works, Finance and the Office of the Auditor-General will be dispatched to Mt Hagen as a matter of urgency by the end of the week."'].

The court order was issued by the Waigani National Court and served on doctors and nurses yesterday morning.

The striking hospital workers says the hospital will be closed for an indefinite period until positive response arise.

PNG Post-Courier
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