The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
A BOARD member of the closed Sopas Provincial Hospital in Enga has called on Governor Peter Ipatas not to mislead people by using the media for propaganda on the status of the hospital.
Board chairman Sapos Tambon said after a report was published in The National this week that Ipatas and his provincial executive council decided to transfer provincial hospital status back to Sopas.
Tambon said people suffered after the hospital was forced to close by the provincial government led by Ipatas.
He said after 13 years without it, the board and people of Sopas issued a notice to start court action against the state from Aug 21 for damages and other relief, substantive discrimination and political interference by the governor that led to the closure of the hospital.
Tambon said the hospital was established 40 years ago and was temporally closed in 2000 after the provincial government diverted funds for the hospital elsewhere.
He said Sopas had one of the best school of nursing and was a hospital that had not only served Engans but the people of East and West Sepiks, parts of Madang, Western, Gulf and the rest of Highlands when it was operating through the services of the flying doctors.
“It was an internationally recognised hospital, but political influence has denied its service for a long time,” Tambon said.
He said having learnt of the notice, the governor and his PEC had decided to transfer the provincial hospital back to Sopas.
“This is strange when the governor made a sudden decision in the newspaper when there is no dialogue between us, the hospital board, the landowners, the SDA church and the provincial government.
“Why make a sudden decision without any consultation process,” Tambon asked.
“The governor is misleading the people of Enga, the SDA Church, PNG and the international community when we have suffered for 13 years,” he said.
As the chairman, he was prepared to go to the court to see justice prevailed, Tambon said.