Barrick helps hospital with K800,000

DESPITE being shut out of its Porgera gold mine, Barrick Niugini continues to support operation of the Paiam District Hospital, responding to reports that the hospital had not received adequate government funding and would have to cease operating.
Barrick helps hospital with K800,000 Barrick helps hospital with K800,000 Barrick helps hospital with K800,000 Barrick helps hospital with K800,000 Barrick helps hospital with K800,000

Barrick Niugini community manager Trevor Liversidge (third from left) and colleagues presented the symbolic cheque to Dr Jerry Hoga (fourth from right) and fellow hospital stuff, witnessed by Porgera community leaders

Staff Reporter

Last week a "symbolic cheque" of K800,000 was presented to the hospital staff led by general surgeon Dr Jerry Hoga. 
 
Dr Hoga thanked Barrick noting that a good deal of support was sourced from outsiders which Barrick had in the past had funded.
 
"Now we are short on funding and it would be hard for us to reach the end of the year and beyond that.  Thank you that you have come to help us the people, on behalf of the Porgera Valley and also the people that come from Laiagam and Kandep to receive health services here," Dr Hoga said. 
 
Barrick Niugini says that in 2019 it provided direct assistance to the Enga Provincial Health Authority totalling more than K2.25 million to support the refurbishment and re-opening of the Paiam Hospital, which had been closed for several years due to mismanagement of funds by its previous operators. 
 
"Additionally, Barrick Niugini agreed to donate a further K2.6 million annually to support the operational budget of the hospital.  That support, however, ceased when Prime Minister Marape announced on April 24 the government's rejection of the application for an extension of the Porgera special mining lease.
  
"Management of the Paiam Hospital is now the responsibility of the Enga Provincial Health Authority; however, it is understood that there has been no allocation of funding from the Enga Provincial Government for 2020. 
 
"Hospital administrators reported earlier this month that due to the lack of adequate funding, the hospital would have to cease providing services to the community, and would close in September of this year.
 
"In light of the critical importance to the Porgera and Paiam community of the health services provided by the Paiam hospital, Barrick Niugini executive managing director Tony Esplin, has said the company, despite having no current revenue from Porgera Mine, will provide additional financial assistance to ensure that the hospital can continue to operate for the remainder of the year," Barrick Niugini said.
 
Esplin said it was concerning that the Paiam Hospital has not received adequate public funding from the government to support its operations in 2020, particularly during the current public-health crisis.
 
"Porgera landowners and community leaders have raised serious concerns with us regarding the potential loss of this important health service and the impact that would have on local communities, and BNL shares those concerns. 
 
"The services provided by the dedicated staff and management of the hospital are extremely important to the community in the Porgera Valley of which we are a part, and for that reason, while we remain in management of the Porgera mine, Barrick Niugini will provide financial assistance totalling more than K800,000 to support the continued operation of the hospital throughout the remainder of the year," Esplin said.
 
Community leaders Kensary Lawaipa and Isaac Kilap were appreciative of thed timely support to the hospital. 
 
"I represent the Paiam Town council and the community. This K800,000 to rescue Paiam Hospital, it's a huge amount that Barrick has brought to the hospital," Lawaipa said.
 
"Thank you very much Barrick. I thought you left but you are still here. This is a Porgera hospital. The money that you have brought will be placed in the Paiam Hospital account," Kilap said. 
 

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