19 Oct 2009

No positive review for Cuban doctors in Solomon Islands

4:27 pm on 19 October 2009

A review of Solomon Islands' National Referral Hospital has found doctors sent from Cuba have not worked out as well as hoped.

The doctors have been working in the country under an agreement between Cuba and the Solomon Islands Governments.

Under the bilateral agreement, Cuba also provided scholarships to 50 local students who are currently studying in the communist nation.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, says the doctors haven't made the contribution the hospital needs.

"They hardly speak English, therefore they can not communicate with ordinary Solomon Islanders in hospital. And they don't work the shifts that are expected of them, like the local doctors, so its putting a strain on numbers, because they expected the doctors to come in and share the load, so that there would be more doctors on call. This has not happened and has come out very clearly in the review."

Dorothy Wickham reporting from Honiara