The National- Friday, February 4, 2011
WE read this week that cash-strapped St John Ambulance of PNG used its humanitarian agenda to raise K60,000 for Australian flood victims.
It was a worthwhile effort which deserves praise. That is what St John Ambulance is all about. The untold story though was that its loyal, dedicated and hardworking officers were not paid their fortnightly salary while much money was spent on this lavish corporate dinner last Saturday to raise the money.
There is still no indication that the staff will be paid any time soon.
I suggest that Health Secretary Dr Clement Malau inquire whether funds, about K560,000, allocated to St John Ambulance by the Health Department are being used for the purposes intended for, or are they being expended to other functions of the organisation.
On top of this, about K200,000 was transferred from the St John education account to the main operating account last week.
While the workers and their families continue to suffer, the national St John council is hitting the headline with itsfundraising drive.
Workers are asking whether money for their pay was used to organise the fundraiser, resulting in them going without pay last week.
Why can’t the council secure its own money elsewhere to assist with such activity?
It is said to note that the National St John Council is not living up to its motto: For the Faith and Service of Mankind by paying its workers last week.
After all, the council has a moral obligation to its staff which should have been addressed first before announcing its successful dinner fundraiser last Saturday.
A board of inquiry was conducted last year to look into financial matters and others affecting St John but to date nothing has eventuated from the findings.
Can someone tell us what is going on?