Hospital staff join protest

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 21st May 2013

 DOCTORS and nurses at the Goroka Base General Hospital have downed tools because of the poor patient care services provided.

They also want the Eastern Highlands provincial health authority (PHA) and hospital management changed.

The hospital workers are members of the National Doctors’ Association, Nurses Union, Community Health Workers’ Union, Allied Health Workers’ Union and Medical Laboratory Association.

They decided during a lunch hour meeting yesterday to join the doctors who began their protest last Friday.

They want Health Minister Michael Malabag to come to Gorioka to address their grievances and appoint a caretaker administrator.

“We want the minister to come here and see the situation and address our concerns. And the PHA and administration must go,” Eastern Highlands NDA branch president Dr Francis Wandi said. 

He was supported by Nurses Union president Lansen Inanu. 

Wandi said they had exhausted every avenue to raise the issue with the PHA and Health Department starting in February this year.

“The gate of the hospital will remain closed until the minister comes and the PHA board and administration go,” Wandi said.

He said clinical services were closed and emergency patients would be carefully screened to allow only expecting mothers and emergency cases through the gate.

“The only person to come here is the health minister. 

“We are not interested in anybody apart from him to come,” Wandi said.

Inanu said the nurses were supporting the protest because it was death to see people dying from lack of treatment.

Forereme Marerime of the Allied Health Union said if the protest was on poor patient care, they were all for it.

“We want to support the protest in the name of good patient care,” he said.

Community Health Workers’ Union president Barnabas Pipike said they supported a change in hospital management.

John Kale, representing the Medical Laboratory Association, said they wanted good patient care.

“We are all here for one reason – patient care. We are putting the lives of patients at risk,” Kale said.