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PNG doctors threaten total shut down

THE NATIONAL Doctors Association says it's planning to step up its national strike by withdrawing the few remaining doctors it has on duty providing emergency care at hospitals because of the government's failure to respond to its grievances.

The union began the industrial action on Friday, despite a court order telling doctors not to strike.

The Association says the strike is due to the government's failure to negotiate with them about implementing a new agreement on their pay and conditions, which was reached two years ago, but never introduced.

The matter is scheduled to return to court today.

Meanwhile, health minister Sasa Zibe has blamed his departmental head Dr Clement Malau for the strike action.

Mr Zibe said senior administrators should be held responsible and should consider their purpose of being in the jobs they hold.

He accused senior management of being insensitive and not taking the lead in solving the issues.

Source: Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand International

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