Dialogue needed to solve problems at hospital in Jayapura

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

17 March 2011

The problems surrounding the moves to uphold the rights of members of
the medical profession – nurses, midwives and assistant medical
personnel – at the DokII Hospital in Jayapura have intensified and have
now led to their criminalisation. Eight nurses have been declared
suspects, five of whom are in police custody

In April 2010, medical personnel sought a meeting with the governor of
the province of Papua to discuss an improvement in their rights. On 2
December 2010, they held their first demonstration demanding payment of
an incentive that had been promised a year before by the regional
government. On 6 December, the governor issued Decision 125 ordering
that the incentive be paid from January 2010. On 17 December, during a
Christmas celebration at the hospital, the regional secretary of the
Papuan province said in his address that the incentive would be paid.
But all of a sudden, without any consultation, the governor issued
Instruction 141 on 30 December saying that the decision to pay the
incentive had been cancelled.

A number of meetings held with various official bodies including the
provincial legislative assembly, the DPRP, failed to secure any
agreement about the incentive.nor was there any response from the
provincial administration. On the contrary, the personnel were treated
as criminals. Services as the hospital were badly affected as many of
the personnel paid visits to their colleagues who were in custody, as a
sign of solidarity.

The undersigned NGOs, in a spirit of solidarity with the medical
personnel at DokII Hospital, wish to convey the following:

1. We are very concerned about the failure as yet to reach any solution
to the problems between the hospital.personnel and the Papuan provincial
administration. This long drawn out case shows that the provincial
administration is incapable of solving the problems in the healthcare
sector, which is one of the priorities under the special autonomy law.

2. We are very concerned about the fact that within a period of one
month, two instructions were issued by the governor on the matter, one
of which ordered the implementation of an instruction while the other
cancelled the instruction, without explaining the reason for this. This
has only highlighted the deficiencies in the system and the lack of
coordination and lack of understanding about governance in the province
of Papua.

3. Far from solving the problem, the criminalisation of eight medical
personnel has worsened the problem and has resulted in the paralysis of
healthcare services at DokII Jayapura Hospital .

4. We call on the police in Papua to release the five medical personnel
in custody and to withdraw the decision to criminalise them. This would
help safeguard the neutrality and authority of the police in the eyes of
the public.

5. We call on the medical personnel at DokII Hospital to continue to
comply with their responsibilities towards the community because the
Papuan people are entitled to receive proper medical attention.

6. The governor should immediately enter into dialogue with the medical
personnel in order to pay due attention to their rights, particularly
taking account of the burdens and risks involved in correcting the
management of DokII Hospital. Such a dialogue would prove that the
Papuan provincial administration has acknowledged its responsibility to
provide healthcare services while enhancing the positive reputation of
the provincial government in the eyes of the medical profession
throughout the Land of Papua.

ALDP (Alliance for Democracy in Papua), KontraS Papua,Legal Aid
Institute, Papua.

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