The Minister advised that he had met with the Executive of the National Doctors Association today and formally accepted the petition. The Minister noted that he understood that the petition had been lodged by the National Doctors on behalf of the other health unions specifically the PNG Nurses Association, the CHW Workers Union and the Allied Health Workers Association.
Minister Malabag said, “I thank the National Doctors Association Executive for the opportunity to receive the petition and for the very professional manner in which our discussions took place. The matters raised in the petition are of a serious nature and I appreciate the opportunity that has been provided to me to undertake my own investigations prior to responding.”
The Minister went on to say that, “I have asked the National Department of Health to form a review team as a matter of urgency and to have the team in place in Mount Hagen by early next week. It is my expectation that I will be provided with a report on the allegations within two weeks of the review commencing.”
The Minister advised that all parties to the dispute, including the Board and Management in the Province should ensure that this investigation is allowed to proceed without interruption and that he expected their full cooperation with the Review Team.
Minister Malabag said, “I thank the Health Unions and their members for the mature manner in which this matter has been addressed. I and the people of the Western Highlands appreciate that all work is to proceed as normal while the investigation is underway and that industrial action has been avoided.”
Mr Malabag encouraged all parties to remain calm while the review was underway.