2 Aug 2011

Further medical assessment of PNG leader possible

7:34 am on 2 August 2011

Two independent doctors may be called on to assess the health of the ailing Papua New Guinea leader Sir Michael Somare before any decision is made on his retirement.

Sir Michael has been in hospital in Singapore since undergoing heart valve surgery in mid-April.

A report on the health of Sir Michael by his personal physician, Professor Sir Isi Kevau, was handed to cabinet on Monday.

The spokesperson for the department of prime minister and cabinet, Theresia Kumo, says it's possible the PNG medical board may be asked to appoint two doctors for another assessment of Sir Michael.

A decision on the fate of the man known as the grand chief will bring to a close months of political upheaval that began in March, when a leadership tribunal found him guilty of financial misconduct dating back 20 years.