27 Jan 2012

Marshalls main hospital suffers staff shortage

5:45 pm on 27 January 2012

The main hospital in the Marshall Islands is putting doctors on 12-hour shifts and pulls them from their regular duties to fill gaps in the outpatient clinic and emergency room.

The physician shortage at the hospital in Majuro has been an ongoing problem since 2009, and was a concern that Ministry of Health officials discussed with the government's new President, Christopher Loeak, and his Cabinet as part of a health status briefing earlier this week.

The hospital has only one pediatrician, one surgeon and one obstetrics and gynecology doctor for a population approaching 30,000 when in years past it has had two or three in each of these specialties.

It has no radiologist, so doctors are left to attempt to read x-rays as best they can.