By Serah Aupong
The Papua New Guinea Nurses Association (PNGNA) conducted the swearing in ceremony of their new office bearers today in Port Moresby.
Senior Magistrate, Joseph Tapat was at hand to officiate at the ceremony which saw re-elected president, Mrs Eimi Kaptigau sworn in for a third term in office.
The PNGNA is one of the country’s oldest workers’ union and over the years have had significant success in ensuring nurses welfare are recognised and maintained by the government.
Every year the association has to compete with six other health workers’ associations for funds from the National Department of Health to address their various welfare issues.
According to Mrs Kaptigau, nurses make up the biggest number of workers in the health sector, but their welfare have not always been a priority of the government and the PNGNA takes on that role to highlight the plight of the nurses.
Housing and other benefits continue to be issues that the nurses face and Mrs Kaptigau and her new team hope to continue to work closely with the government to ensure that this is properly addressed. So far the association has been successful in getting funds from the government to start a housing scheme which they have started in Port Moresby and plan to roll out throughout the country.
To date the PNGNA has a membership of about 3,500 registered nurses.