By Sylvester Gawi:
My reporting career hasn't been tough over the last five years until me and a group of dedicated journalist in Lae started reporting about the plight of cancer patients in Morobe and Papua New Guinea.
I committed my time reporting on cancer treatment, after losing my dad to this deadly disease in 2014. He couldn't have died if thre was adequate morphine drugs, equipments and cancer treatment specialists available at the ANGAU Memorial Hospital in Lae.
When you walk into the cancer ward at ANGAU, you will notice the despair in the eyes of the patients, there are inadequate supplies of drugs and most importantly a specialist doctor to conduct chemotheraphy treatment on patients.
Dr John Stokes Niblett served as the only cancer oncologist at ANGAU for 20years before the National Department of Health breached his contract and sidelined him. During his tenure, Dr Niblett has served hundreds of cancer patients from all over PNG and he has been vocal on my issues affecting the operation of the cancer unit at ANGAU.
Lae National Court ordered in June 2016: "Dr Niblett to recieve full entitlements while case is in Court" .
Pascoe Kase and NDOH boldly ignored that court order.
On 7th April 2017 Kase appeared at Lae National Court for Contempt of Court Order.He pleaded not guilty.
While waiting for judgement Dr Niblett was evicted from Lae International Hotel because NDOH didnt pay rent. Housing is part of Dr Niblett's entitlements.
Twice Dr Niblkett was asked to leave the country within 7days. The last one was 1st June 2017. That was the day Dr Niblett started getting sick.
Question: Why is NDOH Paying 15 Radiation Therapists when there is no work because there is no Radiation Oncologist since Deepak left Dec 2016?
ANGAU HOSPITAL is so understaff, why can't these15 getting paid RT's be deployed in other department to provide services or temporarily retrench until a Radiation Oncologists comes?
Why waste money on 15 RT's who were trained, want to work, but has no work? And we are saying NDOH has no money to pay Dr Niblett's entitlements?
Cancer patients are quietly dying one by one. And Kase & Malabag has repeatedly said on newspapers & TV that 3 Radiation Oncologists are coming to replace Dr Niblett?? Where are they??
While the nation mourns the passing of this great man, I am greatly ashamed on why my government has done that to Dr Niblett.
We live in a country where the corrupt gets knighted and the patriots die in silence.
Goodbye great man till we meet on that golden morning