|Putting up political difference again- Who's interest is it?|
THE proposed nursing school at Sopas, in Enga, is illegal, Sopas hospital board chairman Sopas Tambon said yesterday.
Tambon said the Enga provincial government and Enga Governor Peter Ipatas’ plan to establish a nursing school at the closed Sopas hospital was illegal as there was no legal binding agreement between the SDA church and the landowners of the hospital and its board led by him.
He warned the 40 students expected to enrol at the school to enrol at other institutions as the issue of the hospital was an on-going legal issue between the provincial government, the church and the landowners.
He said the SDA Church had never granted any title to the provincial government over the land and the ownership of the hospital that was claimed to have been closed due to political motives in 1999 as the provincial government failed to support the church for the running of the hospital.
“Who gave Peter Ipatas the legal authority and ownership of the church property to run a school of nursing? The board that I led or the SDA Church has never gave him any authority. It is without our consent that he wanted to run a school of nursing.
“There is no agreement, no authority given to him and nobody has ever transferred any property to him. His move is illegal and his motive is only to mislead the people, the National government and the people of PNG”.
He said he and the church led by the president of the union mission Leigh Rice, union mission health director Gate Barbanbas, lands officer of Union Mission Ray Roy and himself had a recent meeting that the Governor’s move was illegal and the church and the landowners did not recognise his move.
Leigh said the church supported all the initiatives by the government that improved health outcomes for PNG so they welcomed the re-opeining of the school of nursing.
He said the church had been working with Ipatas on plans that the church operate the Sopas hospital again.
He said any renovation work before the re-opeining would be welcomed.
Tambon said: “As chairman of the hospital, I want to warn the 40-plus students enlisted to enrol for the proposed school of nursing there to consider applying elsewhere as the governor’s move is illegal. He does not have any authority to take ownership of the church property.”
He said the church, the board of the hospital and the landowners would not allow the move and had planned to take legal action to prevent the government’s move as he was responsible for the closure of the hospital.
He said on Aug 20 last year, he gave Ipatas a notice that he would be issued a summons but knowing well that the matter was before the court, the governor went ahead with his move.
Tambon further called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to be cautious with the announcement of K322 million the establishment of a hospital at Irelya village in Enga when the premier hospital was neglected and still shut.