Porgera women appeal for PNG govt takeover of hospital
The women of Porgera have joined together to call on the Papua New Guinea government to take over their local hospital and have warned there will be deaths if the hosptial shuts down.
The women of Porgera have joined together to call on the Papua New Guinea government to take over their local hospital and have warned there will be more deaths if the hospital continues to shut down.
The hospital was originally set up under the Porgera Mine Agreement and has been operating under the supervision of the Porgera Development Authority, PDA.
The PDA says it is short of funds.
Porgera District Women Association President Maria Kensary says the hospital has closed intermittently before, with dire consequences, and the government needs to step up.
Ms Kensary says the situation is desperate.
MARIA KENSARY: The main concern was to ask the government to take over the hospital and make it a government hospital because now it is a operating like a private hospital. The PDA is supporting the hospital and when there is no funds to support the hospital it close things so we don't want that to happen again. We want the hospital to be taken over by government.
KORO VAKA'UTA: How many people does the hospital take care of? How many people does it service?
MK: There are more than 30 or 40 thousand people living in Porgera because of the mine there. People from everywhere living in Porgera now.
KV: Where's the nearest hospital if the hospital there was to close? Where would the nearest hospital be for those 30, 40 thousand people to go?
MK: There is no hospital here nearby. The hospital, there is another big general hospital in Wabag so many miles away. It is about 20 or 30 kina bus fare to get there so it is very far. There is one in Mendi but it is very far too so I don't think the people will reach the long distance for that hospital. This hospital in Porgera is a good hospital. We've got good doctors and everybody is working well. We got everything there. We think this hospital is the best hospital but the only thing is so far we need the government people to take over the hospital and run it as a government hospital.
KV: So how will you be appealing to the government? What action are you be taking?
MK: We wrote a petition and we gave it to the government to take over the hospital. That's one step we had.
KV: How people had signed that petition?
MK: There were about 3,000 signatures in there.
KV: Have you got any response from the government? What's the next step?
MK: They sent a message to my phone telling us to just have a meeting and put a resolution inside that and then send it to them so we are trying to organise women and run a meeting again to put a resolution in there to send out to the government people.
KV: So if this was to close, how bad would it be for the community, for Porgera?
MK: I think more people (could) be dying because there were so many people in the hospital with injuries and all this and they sent them out and it's not good because it was dangerous. We had to take them to Wabag Hospital and it's very far. Two or three died. It reopened again the next day but it's very dangerous because there are more people in that hospital.
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