26 Jan 2013

Solomons foreign minister says sending doctors overseas an option

10:21 am on 26 January 2013

The Solomon Islands foreign minister, Clay Forau, says as doctors begin returning from medical training in Cuba, options for sending some doctors to other countries in the region will be explored.

The Fiji government has already indicated it could offer jobs to Solomon Islands doctors to meet Fiji's medical shortfall.

Mr Forau says there are currently 90 medical students studying in Cuba, with 25 doctors due to return next year, and more doctors due to graduate from other institutions.

He says as Solomon Islands is facing it's own shortage of doctors, it will first meet local needs, but the government welcomes such offers of overseas work saying doctors will be relieved to have the guarantee of work on their return.

"We have sent already 25 nurses to Vanuatu and I'm sure on the next thing they will be asking for doctors and yes we do expect other neighbours in the region to also ask for doctors as they know that we have the resources available - that's when we have our doctors come back from Cuba."

The Solomon Islands foreign minister, Clay Forau.