Vanuatu's newly appointed director general for health, Dr Santus Wari, has suspended all three departmental directors.
They are the director of Public Health, Len Tarivonda, the director of Planning and Corporate Services, Russel Tamata, and the director of Curative Hospital Services, Hensley Garae.
The three, who are highly regarded in Vanuatu, have been placed on half salary for three months, with the director general saying they are not qualified or capable of carrying out their duties.
The Daily Post newspaper says the men, who all hold masters' degrees, are considering legal advice and may sue for defamation.
Dr Wari is a member of the health minister, Serge Vohor's Union of Moderate Parties, and local observers say this emboldened him to remove the three men.