24 Dec 2012

Vanuatu health staff urge Aru reinstatement

5:59 am on 24 December 2012

51 staff members at Vanuatu's Ministry and Department of Health have written an urgent letter to the Prime Minister Sato Kilman, calling on him to reinstate their newly elected Director General of Health, Howard Aru.

Mr Aru was suspended by the health minister, Don Ken, who instead appointed a public servant, Graham Patas, as the Acting Director General of Health.

The letter calls for the immediate removal of Mr Patas on the basis that he has no qualifications whatsoever for the job and is allegedly responsible for the instability within the Department.

Mr Aru, who was appointed only three weeks ago, was suspended after it became clear that the minister was not prepared to work with him.

Mr Aru publicly confirmed that Mr Patas was not a doctor as he had failed his examination and claimed that Mr Patas sent threatening text messages to the former Superintendent of Vila Central Hospital, Dr Willie Tokon.

Detectives went to Mr Patas's home to detain him but he wasn't there.