THE recent outburst by St John Ambulance (The National, Sept 10th, 2019) regarding delayed or reduced government funding is childish.
While society acknowledges St John Ambulance for the services it provides when attending to emergency medical service only within the nation’s capital, we health workers are mindful of the same services being provided by poor nurses in remote and isolated locations throughout PNG.
They go on with no government support, no road links, no logistical aid with radio communication, transport, no qualified doctor, no medical laboratory back up and no government funding.
But they attend to snake bites, compound fractures, obstructed deliveries, bleeding mothers and acute medical conditions with only mobile flashlights and bamboo bomboms.
These are the people who can and should cry out for continued negligence by the government.
Not those who enjoy government funding and boast on television their posh vehicles with red lights affixed to the roof, air conditioned rooms, VHF radio, walkie-talkies, hand held radios, and when government funding is delayed they cry foul. I am sorry but St John Ambulance was here in PNG throughout 1970s and 1980s, they disappeared and returned only when they were supported with vehicles and equipment.
What about community health workers and nurses in both the government and church run sub – health centres in Kaintiba, Negabo, Maramuni, Segima, Olsobip, Tekin, Sideia and hundreds of neglected facilities with forgotten health care providers and their families dotting every head waters, every ridge, every valley and every atolls all over this land?
These are the true people who deserve the queens cross. Apart from teachers, every other government employee has returned to the cities where there is electricity with pubs and disco, where there is Wi-Fi and where there is ice cream.
I have done my time in remote and isolated locations across PNG in silence, so who is St John Ambulance to cry foul over my government delayed funds?
We health workers work in silence, we do not demand for lack of man power, housing, logistics and funding, we accept what comes our way in grace.
Gerard Saleu, Goroka