Wednesday, September 18, 2013


 Relatives of  the Black Cat Trail attack victim who died  on Sunday   have expressed anger over the state of the Angau hospital’s  facilities.  
The deceased,  Lionel Aigilo who  sustained  severe  knife wounds to his head, hands an  was in a state of shock  when he was flown in on Wednesday  morning.   He was sedated and placed  in  intensive care  at Angau hospital. 
Lionel Aigilo - The third victim who died in hospital
Four days after the attack, Lionel and  the six other  injured  porters  still had not undergone surgery as expected.   By Friday last week,  doctors  told visitors that they were  were still waiting for the hospital’s only working operating theater to become available for use.
“We have  four operating theatres,” said surgeon Dr. Steven James. “But only one is   fully operational.”
The  arrival of the porters  exposed the Angau hospital’s long standing  staffing and equipment problems  at a time when services were  urgently needed.
On Sunday evening,   Lionel’s  condition worsened.
“When I arrived at the hospital they were trying to resuscitate him but it was too late.  I knew he was gone,” said Passingan Taru, a relative.
“After he died, they moved all the  others to the Lae International Hospital. I was furious!”
In the few hours  during which he was conscious, Lionel Aigilo reportedly  told those nearest to him that he wanted to be taken to another hospital  to undergo treatment. 
            Angau is a hospital that has come under intense scrutiny this year  following a debate between the management and the  National Government   over a 65 million kina design proposal which  the management maintains will transform  Angau into a  modern hospital.  The total cost of the  of reconstruction is estimated to be around 600 million kina.
DIck Reuben - His wife gave birth while he was on the trail
            The National Government still has not backed down on its position  but it has found a new funding source for the reconstruction.  Through he Asylum center deal,    Australia is expected to fund   the reconstruction  of the hospital at the cost  of about 650 million kina.
            But while the long terms plans appear to be progressing well.   The hospital’s short term needs still have not been addressed.  There is a shortage of beds. Basic equipment is lacking and medical supplies had to be donated to the hospital to cater for the porters’ injuries.
            “Our nursing staff numbers  in the surgical department have been slashed from 15 to nine and we are unable to maintain three shifts as required,” said Dr. James.
            Despite the problems,  key staff  members remain  reluctant to talk about issues affecting Angau hospital.  That reluctance coupled apparent rivalry came to the fore  as visitors and relatives expressed concerns over the  hospital’s  slow response in treating  the six porters.
            “When we  asked if the boys  could be moved to another  hospital, one doctor told us: ‘if you take them to another hospital, don’t bring them back here,”  said one of the relatives.

1 comment:

  1. Change The Administration Of The Angau Hospital...So Very Sad For The Family Of Lionel Aigilo. May His Family and Friends Be Comforted In Times Of Sorrow... Peace