PNG police officers arrested after doctors threaten strike

7:01 pm on 10 June 2017

Four police officers have been arrested in Papua New Guinea over the beating of a doctor in Port Moresby last month.

On the 31st of May, Dr Newman Berry was beaten by officers on the side of a road as he was travelling home from a clinic.

The police initially said the matter was being handled internally, but doctors threatened to walk off the job last week unless the culprits were charged and fired.

The general secretary of the PNG Doctors' Association, Sam Yockopua, said police brutality was endemic in PNG, and the association wanted it brought under control.

He also defended the appropriateness of threatening to walk off the job, saying doctors are influential members of society who are able to bring about positive change.

"There are bigger things out there that contribute to the health of this country. Trauma consumes a lot of resources, so as part of the prevention approach we need to be proactive in the community and suggest ways to prevent," said Dr Yockopua.

"It's no different from giving vaccination programmes, it's no different from controlling epidemics. Police brutality is an epidemic and we're working proactively to strategise solutions."