30 Mar 2011

No end in sight to PNG doctors' strike

1:26 pm on 30 March 2011

Papua New Guinea's secretary for health says he is worried a doctor's strike could continue indefinitely, if the two sides do not sit down and talk.

The Papua New Guinea Doctors' Association says its members have been on strike since Friday over demands for a new agreement to lift doctors' salary gradings and pay them other allowances.

Dr Clement Malau says he has not been able to talk to the doctors for some weeks, including an arbritration this week.

"We are still optimistic. I am sure commonsense hopefully would prevail, and we can come back to discussions. If there are reasons why the union executive does not wish to speak with me as the head of the department, I am not fully aware of them."

Dr Clement Malau says he is trying daily to call the head of the doctors' association.