18 Mar 2011

Solomon Islands nurses seen as a big help for struggling Vanuatu health sector

3:48 pm on 18 March 2011

The medical head of Vanuatu's main hospital says a plan to send 25 Solomon Island nurses to Vanuatu will help address a desperate shortage there.

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have signed a historic health deal allowing the Vanuatu Government to start recruiting Solomon Island nurses to work in Vanuatu.

25 nurses will travel there this year and will work on a three year contract

Dr Willie Tokon, medical superintendent of Vila Central Hospital, says it's a good start.

"We're working at about 30 percent at what we should have so our nurses are overworked in terms of long hours and workload so this move with recruiting of nurses from the Solomons it's going to be a big help for us in the hospital."

Dr Tokon says they are also waiting on more nursing graduates locally to help fill the gap.