8 Oct 2003

PNG police guarantee safety at Mendi hospital

11:40 am on 8 October 2003

The Mendi hospital in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea, which is threatened with imminent closure, may be getting a last-minute reprieve.

The hospital has been broken into many times since it opened in 2002 and drugs and equipment have been stolen.

Superintendent Simon Nigi says he will be telling the provincial governor that his police officers have stepped up patrols around the hospital which has quietened down the area.

He says the governor has made a commitment to allocate funds to buy drugs so it looks as if the hospital will be able to remain open after all.

"The hospital super-intendent and his staff continue to hold on They can provide 8 to 4 service and attend to very serious and urgent cases but it's not 100 percent in operation."

Superintendent Simon Nigi of the Mendi police.