21 Mar 2007

Solomons sending team to Cuba to recruit doctors

10:02 am on 21 March 2007


Solomon Islands will be sending a team from its Ministry of Health to interview and select 10 Cuban doctors to take up posts in the country.

Foreign Minister Patterson Oti says the initial request to Havana was for forty doctors however only ten are immediately available for selection by the team.

"And they will be going at a time when our ambassador will be presenting his credentials as ambassador to Cuba. That is our ambassador to New York, accredited to Havana. We want the officials from the Health Ministry to be with him so they can work on the final details.

The agreement between Solomon Islands and Cuba will also see fifty medical scholarships for Solomon Islands medical students being made available to begin in 2008.

The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Doctor George Malefoasi says there are young Solomon Islanders ready to take up the offer.

In fact we have about ten students who are that good and have secured funding for medicine. And the ten students were asked to do an attachment - most likely this intake will be the first to join the bunch.

Dr Malefoasi says the offer of medical training will help alleviate the doctor shortage long experienced by his country.