12 Dec 2013

Suspension of most Vanuatu medical workers lifted

8:16 pm on 12 December 2013

The Vanuatu Nurses Association says the suspension of about 100 medical workers may have been lifted but another group of public health nurses still remain off the job.

The acting director-general of health, Dr Santus Wari, told staff on Tuesday that they were suspended for six months on half pay.

But most staff members then received letters of reinstatement on Thursday.

The suspensions followed a petition asking the Prime Minister to remove the health minister, Serge Vohor, and Dr Wari over a controversial revamp of the health system.

The association's vice-president, Anne Pakoa, says she understands some public health nurses involved in drafting the petition have not been able to return to work.

"One of the common issues here is that nurses don't have any voice in the new structure, so that is why a lot of nurses are complaining and it has become a big issue. The reason why the public health nurses are caught is because they are the ones coming forward to talk around these issues."

Vanuatu Nurses Association vice-president Anne Pakoa.