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Hospital would recruit overseas doctors if circumstances come hard

The National Referral Hospital (NRH) would be recruiting overseas doctors if circumstances come hard, says the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Referral  Hospital, Dr George Malefoasi.

NRH Chief Executive Dr George Malefoasi

This is because 17 NRH doctors are still standing strong on their views not to get Covid-19 vaccine, a few of which are holding very high clinician positions.

“Seventeen doctors in key departments at NRH are yet to take their jab, few very high position clinicians which the hospital is thinking about should it get international doctors or remain with the current ones,” Dr Malefoasi said. 

Speaking in a media conference this week, Dr Malefoasi said they are still in dialogue with the doctors but “would have to go that far” if circumstances come hard. 

“I am very much concerned about specialist doctors, and there are three of them, all the rest are junior registrars.

“If we need to recruit doctors from overseas, we can do it, but again we will do a good screening and selection process. We have done that before,” he said.

Last month, Dr Malefoasi said doctors refused to get vaccinated based on personal reasons.

“Obvious ones were due to their own religious reasons and their own scientific knowledge about DNA.

These were the doctors that walked out from official duties at NRH due to the government’s “no Jab, No Job, policy. 

Of the 95 doctors working on core major service departments at NRH like surgery, pediatrics and mental health, 17 are yet to be vaccinated while 78 have been fully vaccinated.

Malefoasi said out of 668 staff at NRH, 508 of them were fully vaccinated while those that haven’t will be having their vaccination.   

Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Dr Yogesh Choudri said 66 percent of the MHMS staff have received their first doses, and 43.7 have completed their two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr Choudri said, similar to health care workers globally, the health care workers in Solomon Islands did an amazing job on handling the 20 COVID-19 cases in the country. 

He added NRH doctors walked out because there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about COVID-19 vaccines due to so much science behind it and the information, scientific articles that were coming out in the media. 

“Maybe they don’t have comprehensive knowledge about the whole vaccine issue, that is why we depend on WHO [World Health Organisation]  and UNICEF [United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund] to guide us.

“I think it’s time that we sit down with them more, and avail a good scientific argument about it, clear some of the myths that are happening,” Dr Choudri said. 

by Jared Koli

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