The PNG Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) should stop telling the Australian government to pump some of its aid money directly into buying life-saving machines for hospitals throughout Papua New Guinea.
Leader of the Opposition Sir Mekere Morauta said instead PNGTUC president Michael Malabag should urge Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to sell the K130 million executive Falcon jet to buy the much-needed life-saving equipments for hospitals.
"Malabag's statement is not news to the people of PNG.
"Important referral and main hospitals like Port Moresby General Hospital, Angau Memorial Hospital, Goroka Base Hospital and others PNG-wide all need essential medical equipment.
"It's a national shame.
"Where were Michael Malabag and the unions when the PM was trying to buy the Falcon jet?
"I want him to come out on behalf of the unions to call on the PM to sell the plane.
"We all know that the craft exclusively used by Somare as his aerial PMV for family shopping trips, birthday parties and other family errands.
"Somare and I are likely to get medivac services to Australia if we are sick and the state pays for it, but what about the ordinary people?" Sir Mekere said.
On Thursday, October 7 2010, during a meeting with Australian parliamentary secretary for Pacific Islands affairs Richards Marles in Port Moresby, PNGTUC officials raised the need for life-saving equipment in PNG hospitals among others issues.
However, Sir Mekere said the unions and people must come out and urge the Prime Minister to find money to buy the essential life-saving equipments instead of begging other nations and donor agencies.
"I'm ashamed. Other leaders should also be ashamed," the former prime minister said.
He also called on the unions to urge Minister for Public Enterprises to stop spoon feeding National flag carrier, Air Niugini to buy second-hand aircraft using agents.
"We wonder whose getting the commission?
"Why can't we use the money to buy life-saving equipment?
"It is shameful to ask Australia to buy equipment for our hospital," Sir Mekere said.