Hotel evicted Dr Niblett over unpaid bills: Kouza

Oncologist Dr John Niblett has been told to move out of the Lae International Hotel after he accumulated bills of up to K256,500.

Member for Lae, Loujaya Kouza, says he is now living at another hotel while doing locum rounds at the cancer facility at Angau Memorial Hospital.

Kouza brought this to the attention of Parliament today seeking the health minister’s response on Dr Niblett’s payments.

The payments, she said, are from an order made by the court to the department to pay the doctor.

Minister Michael Malabag said Dr Niblett’s contract with the department expired in February 2016. However, it was extended for another three months to May of that same year.

After this, no further extensions were made, thus his services with the hospital were terminated.

With this also came the termination of all other services he was using under the department’s name, including housing.

He then started residing at the Lae International Hotel but was told to leave after his bills went up to more than K200,000.

Malabag said he was advised by the department that Niblett’s eviction from the hotel was not the department’s responsibility anymore as he ceased to be an employee of the department in May of 2016.

With regards to the court-directed payments, Malabag said he is aware that Niblett took to the court to pursue tax rebates, citing over taxation of his salaries, but was not aware of any court order to pay him.

(Loop file pic)

Ruth Rungula