By: Dionisia Tabureguci
The Vanuatu Public Service Commission (VPSC) board has announced the approval of 28 nurses from neighbouring Solomon Islands to work in its hospitals.
VPSC made the announcement on Friday via its Facebook page.
“This decision is made in the best interest of the people of Vanuatu and via the strategic development framework of the Melanesian Spearhead Group(MSG),” it said.
“They are arriving next week to strengthen and streamline medical and health services from Torress to Aneityum. They will be stationed in their respective postings for a period of 2 years contract and there is provision to renew their contracts.”
Officials from Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health were in Solomon Islands last month to carry out recruitment as Vanuatu struggles with a shortage of nurses.
Vanuatu Daily Post earlier reported that the shortage was linked to the inability of the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education (VCNE) to cater for national demand.
Director General of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health George Taleo told the newspaper that VCNE produces only 30 nurses a year and that there are plans to expand enrolment to cater for staffing in the next decade.
“We are hoping to phase out recruiting nurses from abroad by 2025,” Taleo said.
The move has been supported by the Solomon Islands Nursing Association.
Last year, Vanuatu reviewed its agreement under its Memorandum of Understanding with Solomon Island, to streamline it with its new Government Renumeration Tribunal determination.
This improved upon pay and other benefits for nurses sourced from the Solomon Islands.
Vanuatu has been recruiting nurses from Solomon Islands since 2011.