24 Jun 2014

Vanuatu seeks donor help to pay health staff

2:21 pm on 24 June 2014

The Ministry of Health in Vanuatu is turning to overseas donors to prop up the day to day costs of running a new facility.

The keys for a new US$14.6 million rehabilitation wing at Vila Central Hospital were handed over by the Japanese ambassador recently, but it's still to be used.

The hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Hensley Garae, says they aim to get the facility up and running at the end of July, once medical equipment is installed and staffing issues are worked through.

Dr Garae says existing staff will most likely man it because they don't have the budget to hire more people but says the Minister of Health is looking for long-term solutions.

"The Ministry is fully aware, the new Minister is fully aware of this so he is actually talking to our donors to assist us with this arrangement. We need assistance, we can't run this show by ourselves so we need our partners to be around with us."

Hensley Garae says a lack of money to pay new staff is nothing new for the public health sector in Vanuatu.