THE solicitor-general has been advised to go to court today and apply for contempt charges to be served on the striking doctors and their leaders, The National reports. A court order was allegedly served on the executives of the National Doctors Association (NDA) last Friday, preventing them from staying away from work in protest over their working terms and conditions agreed to in 2007. However, the doctors had defied these orders and had continued on with their strike, which is now into its fourth day.
The Port Moresby-based doctors had been joined by other members of the association from around the country, including Mt Hagen and Goroka.
An inter-parties court hearing on the matter had been scheduled for tomorrow.
In issuing instructions to take the doctors to court, Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet said the NDA executives could be called before the court and cited for contempt or “they could be arrested and imprisoned”.
“I have instructed the solicitor-general to advise the court that its interim stay order against the doctors striking was served on them.
“The NDA executives were served the court order, but they have not complied,” Sir Arnold said.
“It is imperative that a court order is complied with. Whatever the circumstance, a court order must be complied with or adhered to while discussions, to reach some form of compromise, continue.”
The court order was sought, and granted, through an ex parte application last Friday to restrain the doctors from going on strike.
The matter will return to court tomorrow for both parties to be heard.