Vanuatu nurses could get training from South Korean doctors
Vanuatu National Nurses Association disagrees with plan to bring in doctors from South Korea to train local nurses.
The Vanuatu National Nurses Association has taken issue with a plan by the Minister of Health to bring in doctors from South Korea to train local nurses.
Serge Vohor intends to recruit 200 young nurses this year, who would receive some training by doctors flown in from Korea.
The acting president of the association, Anne Pakoa, told our correspondent Hilaire Bule that while nurses can benefit from the expertise of doctors, the two fields of work are very different.
ANNE PAKOA: I cannot agree that doctors can teach nursing care. Nursing is a totally different profession. Nursing care is a totally different area that other professions cannot come in to teach nursing. Only nurses can teach nursing care and good quality nursing care can always be taught by someone who has been trained and has lots of experience as a nurse. When you look at it, doctors spend about 15 to 20 minutes to see a patient - they come and do their ward rounds, they assess them depending on the nurse's report and then they go back and do their assessment and they decide whether the patient should go and do another treatment or whether they should be sent home. Now, nurses spend about eight to ten hours a day with a patient - they know the patient so saying that doctors will come in to teach nurses, okay we welcome that idea, they can teach nursing science, but they cannot teach nurses how to be nurses.
HILAIRE BULE: 200 nurses, that is a big intake, if at the end of their study, is there any employment for them in the country?
AP: That is a big question that we also must ask the national government. With the current budget, I don't think we would be able to employ these nurses but depending on what the honourable minister has in plan for health financing so whether the Ministry of Health will get more donor funding because our national income has been equally distributed or been distributed to different sectors - education, health, agriculture. And I understand that annually the Ministry of Health has budgets to run different activities and programmes but already the budget is restricted - too small. They can't even run the whole entire country and if we are going to employ 200 nurses, train 200 nurses, and expect to employ 200 nurses, I think that is a good dream but with the nation's financial capacity will that be a possibility? That I don't know unless we get some supporting answers from our donors or development partners.
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