BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands Nursing Association (SINA) fully supports the mass movement of registered nurses to work in Vanuatu this year.
This announcement follows the news that 100 of our experienced nurses will leave this year for Vanuatu.
SINA believes this move will promote Solomon Islands and explore new ideas and work experience at the regional level.
SINA National General Secretary, Mr Steven Maitani said the association also appreciates Vanuatu’s gesture to employ our nurses.
“We are not discouraging the idea, and nurses have all the rights to explore new ideas to boost its professional career,” Maitani said.
However, having said this, Maitani also understands the adverse impacts this brain drain will have on the medical and health service of Solomon Islands; more so on senior positions of management level and qualified nurses.
He also believes Solomon Islands should have policies which would guideline mass movements of nurses overseas.
Maitani said SIMA and the Ministry of Public Service have worked on a document which looks at this area, adding that it is in the pipeline.
“But the nurses who wanted to work in Vanuatu, it is not a big deal, we have newly graduated students which will take up the role soon,” Maitani said.
It is understood that representatives of Vanuatu’s health ministry were in the country two weeks ago for consultation and recruitment of local nurses.
And, according to the popular Facebook Yumi Toktok forum, 100 nurses are expected to leave for Vanuatu.
It is also cited that conditions of service offered in Vanuatu are three times better than what our nurses are receiving here.
Benefits under the agreement includes the employer will pay airfare for the employee, spouse and two children.
Country’s nurses to Vanuatu are ones trained at SINU, the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) Ato’ofi campus in East Kwaio Malaita province.
In 2011, Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health first recruited more than 25 Solomon Islands nurses.