By TONY PALME
Patients are still being treated at the Mt Hagen General Hospital despite a stop-work protest by some doctors and nurses, acting chief executive officer Dr David Mokela says.
He said despite some doctors and few nurses not working from Wednesday to Friday, emergency cases were still being attended to.
He said treatment was normal in the emergency and labour wards attended to by standby nurses. So were those at the accident and emergency department.
“We have a skeleton staff still working, attending to women in the obstetrics and gynecology and labour wards.
“We only transferred inpatients needing special attention from doctors to urban health centres at the Rebiamul Catholic Health Centre and Kagamuga Health Centre,” Mokela said.
He said patients at the adult and children’s outpatient department were urged to seek treatment at other health centres as there were no doctors there to treat them.
“We are doing just fine. We’ll wait and see what happens,” Mokela said.
He said they had asked other hospitals in the Highlands to take patients sent from Mt Hagen needing doctors’ attention.
A court order was served by the Waigani National Court last Wednesday which restrained hospital staff from taking any industrial action, resulting in mass resignations or withdrawals of staff.
The doctors and nurses defied the court order by walking off their jobs, demanding a quick response to their petitions.
They called for investigations into allegations of mismanagement and corruption at the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority and hospital management to be done quickly.
Health secretary Pascoe Kase on Thursday said their petitions had been noted and an inquiry would be established.
Kase, on behalf of Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag and the National Executive Council warned doctors and nurses to return to work immediately because lives were at stake.
By TONY PALME