By ELIZABETH MIAE
IALIBU Hospital in Southern Highlands province has been closed for an indefinite period after thugs from the nearby village ransacked the hospital’s administration office, the medical superintendent’s house and stole the ambulance on Sunday night.
The medical superintendent Dr Youngpu Samo, was in Port Moresby during the Easter weekend when the incident happened and has ordered the hospital to be closed until the matter is resolved.
The hospital’s closure will affect the 300,000 people it serves in Ialibu-Pangia, Kagua-Erave and Imbonggu districts including the various programmes it runs in the communities.
The people will now have to travel to Mendi and other provincial hospitals to seek medical treatment as the other health centre in Imbongu, the Porgera Pul Health Centre was closed due to power cuts.
“The hospital will only open when the police arrest those responsible. I appeal to the police to take appropriate action quickly because more people are going to die now that the hospital is closed,” Dr Samo said.
“People’s lives have been affected by selfish and animalistic people who do not have respect,” he added.
Not long ago Dr Samo had called on the Southern Highlands provincial government to impose a total ban on alcohol as it was the cause of law and order problems in the province.
Police have started investigations but no arrests had been made yet although the identity of one of the suspects is known.
The suspect is said to be the son of a senior public servant and a community leader in the area and was the instigator of the whole incident.