By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE Ialibu Hospital reopened yesterday with skeletal staff manning the emergency, labour and outpatient wards.
The hospital was closed after its administration office and the medical superintendent’s house were raided and robbed by 14 men under the influence of alcohol last Sunday.
They stole the hospital’s ambulance, terrorised staff on duty that night and slashed one of the security guards on the head and back at the medical superintendent’s house.
The staff were advised to return to work yesterday after a meeting with provincial health adviser Thomas Anda.
However, the order to return to work did not go well with the staff who demanded that their safety be guaranteed.
When contacted, Mr Anda said only the provincial executive council had the power to decide whether the hospital should be closed or not.
Ialibu police with the help of a mobile squad from Mendi have recovered the ambulance from the premises of a senior public servant whose son was believed to be the main instigator of the raid and robbery.
A police source told The National from Ialibu that the ambulance was badly damaged and was beyond repair.
Police recovered the vehicle after a meeting at the police station with the villagers in which the senior public servant was present.
The source said the senior public servant promised to hand over the suspects to the police himself.
Medical superintendent Dr Youngpu Samo, who was in Port Moresby over the weekend , said he would get his staff to hold a sit-in protest when he returned to Ialibu today.
He said a petition would be presented to the provincial administrator for action to be taken, including the arrest of all those involved in the raid and robbery.
“Such incidents have been ongoing for some time now.
“If villagers from one village did it, another village will do it the next time.
“How can we deliver services when we are treated like this?
“Is that the way to look after professionals?” Dr Samo asked.