Sir Martin’s naming stirs conflict

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HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Jelta Wong says Sir Martin Poh’s appointment as Gerehu Hospital board chairman is “conflict of interest”.
“It is conflict of interest because Sir Martin is Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPPL) chairman, the company that was given multi-million-kina contracts (by the National Department of Health – NDoH) to supply medicines and medical kits in Papua New Guinea (PNG),” he added.
Wong was responding to The National’s request for his views on the ongoing Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into the NDoH’s award of two contracts worth more than K100 million to BPPL to procure and supply antibiotics and medical kits nationwide this year.
The PAC has held eight days of hearing since Oct 29.
The ninth session is adjourned to early next year.
On Day 7 of the inquiry on Dec 2, PAC chairman Sir John Pundari queried the appointment of Sir Martin, adding that it was “a conflict of interest”.
However, Wong said the boards of Gerehu Hospital and clinics under the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) were now redundant following the approval of the NCDC Health Authority (NCDCHA) on Friday, in line with the objective to roll out all the Provincial Health Authorities his year.
The NCDCHA is the last PHA in the country to be approved.
“Following the approval, there is no such thing as the Gerehu Hospital Board or Badili Clinic Board. Everything comes under the PHA,” Wong said, adding that Sir Martin and all other board members were no longer in service.
David Toua, who is Steamships corporate affairs general manager and PNG Business Council member, is the NCDCHA board chairman.
There are 28 clinics in NCD of which eight are Government-run and 20 operated by Non-Governmental Organisations and churches.
Gerehu is the only hospital for NCD since 2017 after being upgraded from Gerehu Clinic to a provincial hospital.


  • It doesn’t matter. Why was he appoited in the first place. The fact that there are now no such things as boards doesn’t change the fact that there was a conflict of interest at that time.

  • Regardless, whether the board is redundant or not appointment back then constitute a conflict of interest and everyone involved should be held accountable.

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