By RIGGO NANGAN
CANCER patients at the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae are in dire need of a specialist and are calling on health authorities to get one immediately.
The patients and their guardians at the hospital made the call through a petition they sent to the member for Huon Gulf and minister responsible for Health, Sasa Zibe, last month.
The petition said in part that the patients were suffering there was no cancer specialist to treat them.
They said the news they heard in the middle of the year of former cancer specialist, Dr John Niblett, returning to PNG, had raised hopes.
Niblett left Lae and the country in April after arriving in May 2008.
They called for the minister to visit the hospital and see the situation at the cancer unit and to come clear on when a specialist would be engaged.
Medical staff must also explain clearly to patients what their conditions are because referral patients have been waiting for about a year for a specialist.
The cancer unit was well equipped with the necessary treatment equipment but are of no use without a specialist.
The patients said six patients died in the last few weeks in the cancer wards.
Up to 10 new cases visit the cancer clinic every three days of the week, while up to 15 patients admitted at the wards were treated for pain management only.
They said there were referrals from other hospitals.
Meanwhile, sister in charge of the cancer unit at the hospital, Becky Pais, had vowed to appeal to NGO and charity organisations to help with special rations for the cancer patients.
Pais said there were ways of making special meals to help the patients but these were only temporary.