Academic doctors give Govt one week to respond

National academic doctors have given the Government one week to respond to their grievances over non-payment of their backdate Awards.

The 30 academics at the University of Papua New Guinea School of Medicine and Health Sciences commenced one week stop work today.

The protest is due to the delay in backdated awards; the awards payment of over K5.6 million dates back to January 1, 2014.

The Award is a legal document that the Government has signed as a commitment to pay doctors a certain amount of benefit.

The academic staff met on Monday to discuss the delay of the payments and have decided to stop work after many meetings and verbal assurance from the Government.

The promises that were made since October 13, 2016 never eventuated up until now.

Senior lecturer Professor Glenn Mola, when addressing the students today, said their agenda is to make the stop work short as possible.

Mola said they will put pressure on the Government and if nothing is done to address their grievances then the PNG National Doctors Association will resort to a nationwide strike.

He said with the national elections coming up, their grievances need to be addressed before all doctors go on strike resulting in chaos in the health sector.

Mola apologised to the students for the inconvenience caused telling them that something needs to be done.

The stop work means that there is to be no teaching in the medical school and within the Port Moresby General Hospital grounds.

All clinical staff and the departments have been informed that any student that goes to the hospital will not be taught until a favourable answer comes from the Government.

The UPNG and SMHS administrations and the PNG National Doctors Association are in support of our stand and move to stop work.

Quintina Naime