Chiefs in Vanuatu are calling for the reinstatement of a Ni-Vanuatu doctor suspended in October last year after he criticised the government in a social media post.
The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the Maewo Council of Chiefs asked the Public Service Commission to immediately reinstate Basil Leodoro, who was a surgeon in the Northern Provincial Hospital at Luganville on Espiritu Santo.
It previously reported Dr Leodoro was suspended in October for accompanying the Vanuatu Under-20 football team to the world cup in South Korea in June without his superior's approval.
However, the public questioned the motive for the suspension given it was meted out four months after the tournament and after Dr Leodoro had questioned the government's use of aid funding meant for people evacuated from September's volcanic eruption on Ambae.
In a letter addressed to the health minister, the chiefs on Maewo called for the doctor's immediate reinstatement.
It said Dr Leodoro provided a crucial service to people on their island through clinics and remote consultations and his absence was placing noticeable stress on the quality of medical care on Maewo.