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Doctors threaten to withdraw services over non-payment issues

Yockopua_Dr Sam
Dr Sam Yockapua


PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea's Doctors' Association is threatening to withdraw its services across the nation.

Association General Secretary Sam Yockopua said the government is running out of time to address seven issues he and his colleagues have raised.

The issues relate to payments and allowances owed to doctors and outstanding contractual matters.

Dr Yockapua said one of these was unpaid rent allowances for doctors' accommodation. He said some doctors have been evicted because they haven't been paid for up to six months.

So we're asking the government and we've given the deadline; they come as one package; failure to do so will result in withdrawal of services.""They've got to be completely insane to think otherwise.

Dr Yockopua said another issue is the lack of contracts for doctors. According to him, many doctors had been working without contracts for many months while the government has freezed employment of new doctors.

"But we have got an increased number of sick people and we've got doctors who are looking for jobs in the country, and the government is trying to employ Cuban doctors, Indian doctors and recently doctors from Israel, making a mockery out of our system," he said.

Dr Yockopua said patients in critical condition would not be left unattended, but that all other routine services by doctors would be put on hold until the issues were rectified.


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