The Minister of Health, Jerome Ludvaune, spent the whole day Friday visiting and speaking to health services staff in Luganville, Santo where he brought the long awaited good news that the Department of Health staff structure has finally been approved by the Government.
He announced that the good news has come with the strong backing of the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Finance. Both have been working together with the Ministry of Health team over the last few months finalizing the structure and getting the government agree to fund the structure. It is the first time news of the new structure was made public to a group of health staff after approval from government came just before the Easter holiday.
With detailed explanation coming from the Director General of the Ministry of Health, George Taleo and the Director of Curative and Hospital Services, Dr. Willie Tokon, the Minister explained that the rollout of the structure will start in July and carried out in three phases to fill the structure with the staff– 1) frontline staff including doctors and nurses will be the first to go into the new structure, 2) all staff members now in the Ministry of Health’s and government’s payroll and 3) recruitment to fill vacant posts. The announcement received loud applause from staff at all the government health facilities the Minister visited – Northern District Hospital and Sanma Rural Health Service.
“Phases one and two will be carried out concurrently and phase three will follow,” DG Taleo explained.
He said that Government has agreed to put an initial Vt200 million into the rollout of the structure with a further Vt200 million to be committed later.
Director Curative Services explained that staff will find that their pay packages will increase once they move over into the new structure and he appealed for patience from everyone while the rollout was being implemented with the plan to complete all the three phases in February, 2018.
Dr. Tokon the new structure will mean: “right people in the right position to ensure good quality service delivery.”
“The structure will have so many positions in it that there should be no problems experienced today with many instances where one person is doing two or three people’s tasks,” he added.
Minister Ludvaune first called at the Sanma Rural Health Service where he visited all the section of SRHS and spoke to the staff where he made the announcement on the new structure. Then he visited the Vanuatu Family Health Association, Medical Santo Clinic, and the Northern District Hospital where he visited all the sections of the hospital including eye, outpatient, maternity, ENT, emergency unit, and dental services led by Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr. Basil Leodoro. And then he spoke with the staff during which he made the announced of the good news to them.
Later in the afternoon the Minister visited Sanma Province and Luganville Municipal Council accompanied by his delegation that included Ministry of Health First Political Advisor, Steven Sau, Private Secretary Appolinaire Virambat, Sanma Rural Health Manager Peter Malisa.