The president of a women's group in Porgera says more people will die if the Papua New Guinea government doesn't take over the running of the town's privately-run hospital.
Porgera District Women Association President Maria Kensary says over 3,000 women signed a petition and conducted a peaceful protest calling for the move last week.
Ms Kensary says the protest follows decisions to shut down operations due to lack of funding.
She says the hospital is needed by the close to 40,000 people in Porgera as the next nearest facility is in Wabag, about 80 kilometres away .
Ms Kensary says the hospital has closed intermittenly before, with dire consequences, and the government needs to step up.
"I think more people, (could), be dying because there were so many people in the hospital and they sent them out and it's not good because it is also dangerous. We had to take them out to Wabag hospital which is very far and two or three died. It reopened again the next day but it is very dangerous."
Last month the PNG Society for Rural and Remote Health called for immediate action to improve the situation of millions of Papua New Guineans not having access to healthcare.