11 Jul 2011

Vanuatu short of 800 nurses - claim

3:29 pm on 11 July 2011

Vanuatu's health sector may be short of 800 nurses.

The Vanuatu government recently signed a deal with Solomon Islands to provide 25 nurses for three years.

But a source says there's a shortage of about 800 nurses with many of the present staff working beyond retirement age because of the lack of qualified people to replace them.

The National School of Nursing in Port Vila has the capacity to train 30 students a year but there's a need for three times this number.

Our correspondent reports the lack of medical staff in the islands has forced local people to revert to using traditional medicine to treat sickness.