AN ambulance for Ialibu Rural Hospital in Southern Highlands, PNG that was returning from Mendi Hospital after admitting a mother with delivery complications, was stolen on Monday and stripped at a village in Imbonggu.
Police and Southern Highlands health authority (PHA) officials had found the stripped vehcile on Wednesday afternoon.
The ambulance was found along an abandoned feeder road near Yambra village in the Lower Mendi local level government (LLG).
PHA public health director George Epei told The National that between 2pm and 3pm on Monday, the driver and two nurses were returning to Ialibu when they encountered a roadblock in the Lower Mendi area.
Men allegedly from the village then ordered them out of the vehicle and drove off.
The three men were rescued by a vehicle from Ialibu.
Epei said Ialibu hospital had been facing challenges with transporting patients to Mendi and the provincial government had given them the ambulance.
“At the moment, we (PHAs) can do nothing,” he said.
“The hospital is now looking at hiring a vehicle to be used in the meantime, while the police are investigating the matter.”
Epei said that the vehicle hire would now place more stress on the PHA’s resources but it was necessary to ensure healthcare services in the district.
Acting police commander Chief Supt Daniel Yangen confirmed the incident and condemned it saying healthcare assets and all public services needed to be respected as they served the people.
Yangen said he expected arrests to be made soon as the suspects were from the Yambra village.
He said such acts impacted the lives of the people.
He called on village leaders to work with the police to bring arrest the suspects.
The National / PNG Health News
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