Actions to be taken against soldier in doctor’s attack

Actions will be taken against the soldier involved in the attack of a Port Moresby General Hospital doctor on Saturday.

Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Registrar, Dr. Dean Wahembari, was at a colleague’s house at North Waigani to pick up his son when he was allegedly attacked by a group of off-duty, drunken soldiers.

In his statement to the Waigani police, Dr Wahembari said he and his wife had arrived at the gate of his colleague’s house at around 6.30pm on Saturday, May 19th, when they heard noises from the neighbouring house.

Five minutes later he found himself surrounded by more than 5 men, who all started assaulting him.

In the midst of the onslaught, Dr Wahembari overhead one of the soldiers mentioning something about his late father, who was managed by the ENT team at PMGH last year.

The instigator, whom Dr Wahembari knows, has been positively identified by the PNGDF.

The attack has been condemned by the National Doctors Association, who have threatened industrial action if nothing is done within 10 days.

In a joint press conference, acting PNG Defence Force commander, Captain Philip Polewara, extended the military’s sincere apology to the doctor and his family.

“An investigation is underway in collaboration with the Royal PNG Constabulary and all stakeholders,” said Polewara.

“Appropriate actions will be taken once the investigation is complete.

“This matter will include both the military and the civil court of law.”

The service member, who is under the custody of the military police at the First Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, will be brought to the police station later this afternoon.

“An official statement will be released once the investigation is complete,” stated Polewara.

(The joint press conference today. From left: Acting PNG Defence Force commander, Captain Philip Polewara, NCD metropolitan superintendent, Perou N’Dranou, National Doctors Association president, Dr James Naipao and NDA secretary, Dr Sam Yockopua)

Carmella Gware