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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PNG Police Apprehend 3 Others Accused Of Raping Nurse
Staff urge for increased hospital security, support resources

By Pisai Gumar

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 21, 2013) – Papua New Guinea police in Lae have apprehended all five suspects with collaboration of the East Taraka community, the suburb in which the alleged rape of a nurse from Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae, Morobe occurred.

Under the leadership of new metropolitan police commander Superintendent Iven Lakatani, police worked around the clock since Sunday to apprehend the remaining three suspects following the surrender of one suspect on Tuesday and capture of another yesterday.

The swift effort by police and the local community met one the key demands of a petition by hospital staff and management.

The suspects were detained and interrogated while Lakatani urged the public to additional information to police about the incident.

Lakatani and superintendent operations Insp. Fred Kaiwa accompanied provincial administrator Kemasang Tomala, provincial health advisor Micah Yawing, law and order chairman Peter Namus to the Angau Memorial Hospital yesterday to receive the petition.

The 10 demands stated in the petition are:

  • East Taraka community to bring the suspects to police, which has been achieved;
  • Provincial governments through local level councils conduct community awareness about significance of health facilities including safety of workers so that public value and respect;
  • Immediate change of internal security coordinator at hospital including change of current security company manning the premises;
  • Morobe Provincial Government (MPG) and hospital board to jointly provide incentives to attract and retain staff;
  • Angau hospital board and MPG together with national government immediately build housing accommodations for health workers opposite the Old Lae Airport;
  • MPG to improve health facilities and staff strength in urban clinics to ensure they operate seven days a week to allow Angau to cater for referrals alone;
  • Hospital management, provincial and national government to immediately improve hospital facilities to cater for current growing demand in health services by increasing population;
  • MPG to consider an existing annual budget allocation to Angau hospital as it was, will and still remain as the referral provincial hospital;
  • MPG and hospital board to facilitate and ensure that the provincial health authority (PHA) is created immediately; and
  • Demand for change of current hospital management will be pursued if none of the mentioned demands are met by June 2013.

The petition was also addressed to Morobe Governor Kelly Naru, Morobe MPs, Health Minister Michael Malabag, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, Lae Lord Mayor James Khay and Northern Divisional Commander Allan Kundi.

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