Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape opened the K210 million (US$59 million) Great Chief Somare Memorial Hospital in Wewak, telling the leaders and people of East Sepik “you deserve this for your service”.
“We pay a very special mention to the late Great Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who gave his life as a ransom for all of us to be here,” Marape said.
“But this is not just a Sepik hospital but a national asset, as we seek to unbundle the Sepik economy into a powerhouse that contributes to our national economic progress and wellbeing.”
He said the hospital was built from a low-interest rate loan from a European Union member country, with the Government providing the counterpart funding.
Construction took three years.
Marape thanked the previous government led by Peter O’Neill for initiating the project.
“All Sepik leaders and people deserve this for your service to our country,” he said.
“As we work with Sepik to grow the rural and provincial economy, this modern health facility will be an economic insurance to investors, businesses, public servants, people and citizens who live and work in this big rich province.”
He said the Government would do the same for all provinces and Bougainville over the next five years. Next on the list are Kimbe, Central, Mendi, Tari and Kerema.
Marape urged ministers and secretaries to provide essential services to rural people.
“Health minister and secretary, check that the new Goroka and Lae (facilities are) working,” he said.
“And let’s finish the Wabag Hospital.
“Move (on to) the others for us to tick off as 22 modern hospitals in our country. “Complete the cancer hospital and heart operation facility and deliver a kidney facility at the very earliest,” he said.