K1.5m to relocate Nonga hospital

National, Normal

THE East New Britain provincial government will pay K1.5 million to Kuraiba plantation landowners for the relocation of the Nonga Base Hospital.
The decision to buy the Kuraiba plantation, near Vunadidir in the Gazelle district, follows a decision by the provincial executive council in 2001 to relocate the hospital away from the volcanic area in Rabaul.
On Tuesday, the provincial assembly endorsed a submission from Governor Leo Dion for the provincial administration to release the money for the acquisition of the 20ha Kuraiba plantation land.
Landowners had initially put the price tag at K150 million for the land.
Mr Dion told the assembly that as part of the strategy to support the scale down and relocation, the provincial government undertook an upgrading programme to select rural health facilities at Kerevat, Warangoi, Butuwin and Palmalmal to take on some of the affected functions in the immediate phase and in the long-term to provide a referral system to the new hospital.