By HELEN TARAWA
The Department of Health has stepped in to address water problems at the Laloki Psychiatric Hospital outside Port Moresby.
Secretary Pascoe Kase said a team was dispatched to Laloki yesterday to speak to the staff and management and to organise temporary tanks of water.
Kase said the hospital was an authority of its own and had a management in charge of the facilities but due to funding constraints they had not been able to address issues.
He said the long-term solution would be to look at connection to the main Eda Ranu water supply to help the hospital.
“I urge the workers not to take stop-work action or close the facilities because the department is already looking at addressing the issue,” Kase said.
Workers had earlier threatened to walk off their jobs today to call on authorities to address their water problems.
The hospital, which is the leading mental healthcare provider in the country, has not been connected to the main water supply for the last 17 years.
PNG Nurses Association general secretary Edward Foe said the hospital was using bore water system over many years and it broke down, resulting in the staff and the hospital facilities being without water for the last four months.
He said the staff had decided on a protest to call on authorities to address the problem as without water they would fail in patient care responsibilities.
PNGNA vice-president Fredrick Kebai said the situation was quite severe as it is putting the staff and the patients at risk.
By HELEN TARAWA