21 Dec 2012

Vanuatu controversy over health director appointment

2:19 pm on 21 December 2012

Vanuatu's Minister of Health Don Ken has suspended his director general, Howard Aru, and appointed Graham Patas as his temporary replacement.

Mr Patas, who had been on the staff at Vila Central Hospital, was sacked last week by the Public Service Commission, after he had allegedly sent threatening texts to the hospital's former superintendent, Dr Willie Tokon.

Police investigations into the death threats led to Mr Patas being sacked.

But the Minister of Health has now made him the acting director general of health.

However Mr Aru says he will not accept his suspension, saying only the Prime Minister and Public Service Commission have the right to discipline him.