9 Jul 2014

Vanuatu PM wants more money in hospital budget

4:08 pm on 9 July 2014

The Vanuatu government is proposing an increase to the health budget to solve the financial woes of Vila Central Hospital.

The Daily Post reports mis-management, including excess recruitment and payroll irregularities over the last three years, mean the hospital's budget for the year has run out with six months still to go.

An urgent meeting this week addressed reports that on-call and after hours services could be cut and the intensive care unit could be closed.

Stethoscope.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

The paper says almost 20 nurses have not had their contracts renewed, sometimes leaving wards with just a single staffer caring for up to 30 patients at night.

The prime minister, Joe Natuman, has urged the health ministry to work out the best possible options so patients are not jeopardised further.

He said he wants the health budget to be on par with education as the two are equally important social sectors.