Vanuatu's Director General of Health George Taleo says a traffic accident he was involved in last week was not due to being under the influence of alcohol.
He said two vehicles were racing to overtake each other at a bend and he could not avoid being hit when one vehicle drove into his lane.
Mr Taleo admits having consumed some alcohol and kava at a government function but he said he was driving the health minister to and from the function and knew his first duty was for the minister's safety.
He said the driver of the vehicle that hit his car drove away and he was hoping the police would find him.
Mr Taleo said he was expecting the prime minister to make a final decision on a recommendation to suspend him.
According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, it was the chair of Vanuatu's Public Service Commission Martin Mahe who wrote to the prime minister calling for Mr Taleo's suspension while an investigation was being carried out.