Confusion over hospital’s status

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013

 QUESTIONS have been raised on the status of the Sopas Hospital in Wabag, Enga, after Governor Peter Ipitas recently said its administration had been transferred to a church.

Sopas Tambon, who claims to be the hospital board chairman, told The National in Lae there was no ceremony or signing done to prove that the hospital had been transferred to the Seventh-Day Adventist mission and its management. 

Ipatas was reported in this newspaper two weeks ago as saying the hospital was being given back to the church.

“I want the people of Enga to know that neither the church nor the board knows anything about this transfer,” Tambon said.

He said the church and the board had, on two occasions (2002 and 2007), wanted to reopen the hospital but the governor allegedly blocked their efforts for unknown reasons.

“How can he now give the hospital back to the church when he blocked its re-opening on two occasions?” Tambon said.

The Sopas Hospital was closed in 1997 following a tribal fight between two factions of the Sakarwan tribe, the traditional custodians of the land where the hospital is built.

The provincial government temporarily took over the hospital in 2000 after the church withdrew following the fight.

The hospital was one of the best church-operated health facilities in the country with flying doctor services, nursing training centre and specialist medical services.