Ministry of Health steps up decentralization efforts

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has sent in staff from Norsup hospital in Malekula to Ambrym to assist and assess health issues on the island.

Director of the Department of Corporate Services, Policy and Planning, Dr Posikai Samuel Tapo said the health sector is moving away from the sending national staffs in Port Vila out saying the Ministry is more focus on developing the decentralizing process of the health services.

He reaffirmed that the MOH has decided to base its staff from Norsup, Lamap and even Ambrym island to at least assist with the disaster response.

Dr Tapo says he is confident that the staff in Ambrym and Norsup are more than capable to do assessments and also provide reports to the Health cluster, and from there, the health cluster can respond.

The director said that in the past, the MOH has been normally deploying national staffs in Port Vila, but last year and this year, they are focused on decentralizing the movement of staffs to assist in disaster response and to upskill them in terms of response, experience, filling assessment forms, and how to provide advise to the nationals in providing support.

Dr Tapo also commented that with the decentralization process, the ministry is saving money, time and also builds on the capacity of the staff.

In response to the volcanic victims, Dr Tapo said that the Health cluster is still waiting for a monthly sectoral assessment report.

He said that the MOH’s Malampa team has provided an assessment report allowing the MOH to be in a better stand to respond.

According to Dr Tapo, the MOH’s national team is on standby to provide assistance if support is requested by the Malampa health team.

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