In a bid to address the growing concerns over law-and-order issues plaguing the East New Britain province, the National Doctor’s Association ENB Branch has presented a timely petition to the provincial government.
The move is on behalf of the ENB Provincial Health Authority doctors and Rabaul Provincial Hospital staff comes amidst the alarming rise in criminal activities, putting professionals, including doctors and nurses at risk.
NDA Branch president and Senior Surgeon- Dr Kevin Lapu presented the petition to the Member for Rabaul Dr Allan Marat, Acting Provincial Administrator Levi Mano and ENB Police Commander Januarus Vosivai today (Nov 15) at the Rabaul Provincial Hospital.
The occasion was witnessed by Rabaul Acting District Administrator Freddy Lemeki, ACP NGI Commander N’Ddranou Perou, Acting Hospital Manager Dr Osiah Baining and senior medical physicians with staff.
Senior medical physicians raised concerns that as violence spreads across the province, in particular Rabaul district, physicians find themselves increasingly vulnerable to attacks.
Recent incidents targeting medical practitioners have raised concerns within the Doctors Association and determined to protect the safety and well-being of its members, the association decided to take a stand and demand urgent action from the government.
The petition, consisting of several key points:
· For a thorough investigation into the assaults of senior specialist doctors;
· Guaranty of staff safety and increased police presence.
· For a thorough investigation on why youths are attacking hospital staff given it is a government institution that must be upheld with respect.
Concerned authorities have been given a deadline until Monday 20th November, 2023, to respond to the petition and failure to do so, the union will stop work and withdraw services by Tuesday 21 November, 2023.
Rabaul MP, Dr Marat when receiving the petition on behalf of the Governor Michael Marum in response said the safety of health workers is equal concern to the government and he intends to take the petition to the parliament organization that usually looks at petitions and he will present on the floor of parliament.
“Indeed, if doctors are harmed, who is going to serve those who become victims of this current lawlessness,” Dr Marat questioned.
Mr Mano assured the union that the provincial administration will continue to work closely with police.
“We continue to support police in whatever way so they can properly do their job and I also concur with the union that maybe by next Monday, the perpetrators must be arrested immediately.”