Nurses in Vanuatu getting desperate for pay
Situation gets desperate for some nurses in Vanuatu who haven't been paid in over three months.
The Vanuatu Nurses Association says pay issues are still plaguing the profession, with as many as one hundred nurses not receiving their pay.
The acting Director General of Health in Vanuatu, Dr Santos Wari, said it was expected nurses' pay would be back to normal by Friday last week.
However, the interim president of the Nurses Association, Anne Pakoa says it's understood about 100 of the more than 500 nurses employed in the country are still waiting to be paid.
She told Leilani Momoisea that the situation is getting desperate for some.
ANNE PAKOA: Some of the nurses haven't been paid for about three or more months, which is quite frustrating. One of the approach that was taken was that the Ministry of Health over there, brought a bag of rice, and gave it to each of the nurses, and I think it's quite a joke. So, until now, we're still receiving a lot of issues coming from individual nurses, coming from presidents of the Nurses Associations in the other provinces, so it's a dramatic situation we're in.
LEILANI MOMOISEA: And is it mostly just the Vila Central Hospital, or is it other hospitals as well?
AP: No, it's other hospitals as well. In Santo hospital, from our internal source there, she told us that those nurses have not been paid for over three months. One of the nurses quotes from one of the islands in Tafea province, apparently she has not had any pay for nine pay days. So that is quite an accumulation of unpaid salary.
LM : And what's the news in terms of how hard nurses have had to work in terms of cyclone Lusi?
AP: Well the nurses are working extra hard, on call hours have not been paid. During the cyclone, the number of patients have doubled, and nurses need to be alert and come on duty. We are talking about those nurses that are out there looking after rural dispensaries and other healthcare facilities that are out there in the rural areas. Some of them have been called to check patients at night. It's quite frustrating when you look at it, they haven't been paid for several months and yet they can respond to emergency situations like this. And I think that's one of the things that we need to applaud the nurses work on, but also to keep talking about their welfare, and that is their salaries that have not been paid for several months.
The acting director general for health in Vanuatu, Dr. Santos Wari, has so far been unavailable to respond to these comments.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: