PNG health workers threaten strike action

12:15 pm on 13 July 2016

Health workers' unions in Papua New Guinea will call their members to strike a week from today unless the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill resigns.

The health workers are aligned with a civil society group that has links to the maritime transport and aviation sectors who has made a similar demand.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Photo: Supplied

The secretary of the National Doctors' Association, Sam Yockopua, said drastic cuts to PNG's health budget have given health workers no other choice.

"Eighty percent of the hospitals for the country are literally operating on red lights. We are professionals, we cannot be led by a blind people that's why we have to take this approach and tell them that this is not right. How can the government be blind to cut over 30 percent of the budget? That means the killing of 30 percent plus human beings, that's genocide."

Mr Yockopua said the government's plan to mobilise the police to prevent strike action is indicative of its attitude towards the freedom of speech and human rights.

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