31 Mar 2011

Private hospitals see more patients during PNG doctors' strike

8:21 pm on 31 March 2011

Many of the sick in Port Moresby are attending private hospitals and urban health facilities while the doctors' strike puts pressure on the main hospital, Port Moresby General.

Nearly 500 members of the Papua New Guinea Doctors' Association have been on strike since Friday over demands for better salaries and other allowances.

The CEO of Port Moresby General Hospital, Sam Vegogo, says they have a contingency plan in place to cover the loss of at least half of their doctors.

He says while they are still dealing with all emergency cases, some people are choosing to go elsewhere for less serious problems.

"The public are going to the urban health facilities and private hospitals at the moment so the situation it's contained but the doctor presence is very low."

Sam Vegogo says they are fortunate in that it's a teaching hospital so they've had university staff step into some of the roles.