By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV, Port Moresby
Porgera Hospital will no longer operate as a private health facility, after stakeholders within the organisation failed to provide the required support under the Porgera Mine Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Porgera Hospital Chairman, Jonathan Paraia, said the hospital is the only health facility in the area and must be supported to serve the people. Chairman Paraia said the current board and management will remain neutral to avoid political interference.
Porgera Development Authority (PDA) General Manager, John Miukin, said the PDA has funding the hospital for the last 25 years, as the stakeholders failed to fund the operation. He added that now it was time the hospital be transferred to the government, as there was no longer money available to continue funding the service.
Barrick PJV Community Affairs Manager, Timothy Andembo, said the hospital should have been closed prior to the Barrick PJV intervening with K750,000 for staff salaries.
He said this money will be exhausted by the upcoming pay period and the move to transfer the hospital must be sped up.
The decision to transfer the management of the hospital follows a meeting by the Porgera Development Authority this week.