7 Jul 2014

Vanuatu's main hospital facing financial crisis

4:44 pm on 7 July 2014

Authorities in Vanuatu are looking for ways to reverse a 320,000 US dollar budget deficit at Vila Central Hospital, which local reports say is on the brink of collapse.

The Vanuatu Daily Digest says the Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, met with the Health Minister George Wells and the hospital's new director general, Viran Tovu on Friday to discuss the issue.

It reports the recruitment of new staff and payment irregularities over the last three years means the Ministry has already exhausted its 2014 budget.

There are reports the Intensive Care Unit may be closed, and doctors and nurses will have to limit their hours of work.

Major extensions to the hospital financed by aid from Japan and opened last month are yet to be used.

The hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Hensley Garae, has said they aim to get the new facility up and running once medical equipment is installed and staffing issues are worked through.