14 Apr 2015

Call for Vanuatu doctors to be referred to remote islands

2:11 pm on 14 April 2015

A Vanuatu community leader says doctors should be sent to the outer islands because the costs associated with patients travelling to a hospital are prohibitive.

To access critical health care in Vanuatu, people often go to the hospitals in Luganville or Port Vila but Luc Roger from the northermost group, the Torres Islands, says people, both the patients and their families, can find this very hard.

A child is vaccinated by an aid worker.

A child is vaccinated by an aid worker. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Mr Roger says even though the population is small, they are still part of Vanuatu and deserve the same health service as the people in the other islands.

"They should refer the doctors to the remotest areas rather than referring patients and their families to Santo which is totally far away from the islands and it is very costly for those that are accompanying the sick patients."

Luc Roger says Torres Islanders also want to see progress on promised medical facilities, including a theatre and a maternity ward.