Health secretary: Condolences to Dr Niblett’s family

The Secretary of Health was saddened to hear of the death of Dr John Niblett, and expressed his condolences to Dr Niblett’s wife, Andrea, and to Dr Niblett’s family and friends.

In a statement, Secretary Pascoe Kase, responding to the news that the radiation oncologist had passed away on July 4 at the ANGAU Memorial General Hospital in Lae.

The Secretary went on to say: “Dr Niblett was the foundation of the establishment of radiation oncology services in Papua New Guinea, and committed a large part of the last 40 years in providing his services treating cancer patients from the Cancer Centre in Lae.

“Papua New Guinea was indeed fortunate to have benefitted from his valuable contribution to the community and the health system.”

While the Secretary did not want to get drawn into the issues outlined in reports regarding Dr Niblett’s claims against the Health Department, he did say there were no payments outstanding to Dr Niblett’s estate.

“I understand that at the expiration of Dr Niblett’s last contract, all outstanding payments were made in full. In any event, the pursuit of any alleged outstanding payments would now be a matter for the Executors of his will.”

Secretary Kase further said the challenge for the Health System is to build on the work started many years ago by Dr Niblett and other workers in this specialty, and to examine the most appropriate manner for the highly complex radiation oncology services to progress.

“Of course, as Dr Niblett knew, any progress needed to be made in conjunction with health promotion, immunisation and other treatment modalities for cancer, including medical chemotherapy and surgical interventions, are on the priority list for health services in the country.”

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Press release