6 Sep 2011

Vanuatu health chief says hospital funding under control

5:02 pm on 6 September 2011

Vanuatu's Director General of Health Mark Bebe says Port Vila Central Hospital's funding situation is under control.

The country's main hospital has been forced to cut back on services because of nearly 340,000 US dollars in unpaid bills since January and last week it threatened to stop ambulance services.

A 110,000 US dollar injection of funds on Friday allowed the hospital to pay some of its debts but management has said it does not know what will happen after the end of the month.

Mr Bebe says a proposal's being put to parliament for an extra 1.7 million US dollars to cover costs until the end of the year.

He says it's not the first time there've been budget problems.

Mr Bebe says the health budget's remained stagnant at 16 million US dollars for the last five years but Vanuatu's health sector needs three times that amount.