20 Dec 2013

Doctor shortage in Marshall Islands hospital hits crisis level

7:39 am on 20 December 2013

In the Marshall Islands, a doctor shortage at Majuro Hospital is reaching a crisis level, compelling the government to reach out to Marshallese doctors living abroad for help.

The abrupt departure of two surgeons in early December is the latest in a string of doctors breaking contracts and leaving Majuro.

The only surgeon now on staff is set to leave Christmas week, which could leave the nation's capital without the services of a surgeon.

However the Health Minister, David Kabua, says he's optimistic the doctor shortage will be solved with outside support, and staff are working around the clock to quickly remedy the situation.

Mr Kabua says the government is asking several Marshallese doctors who are working in Palau and Yap to return to work at the hospital.

Majuro Hospital has had a difficult time keeping overseas doctors and dentists, which it depends on because of a lack of locally trained medical specialists.