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Stranded nurses in Vanuatu included in repatriation plan

Stranded nurses as well as other nationals in Port Villa, Vanuatu are also included in the Government’s plan to repatriate its citizens home.

Solomon Islands nurses and families stranded in Vanuatu Photo: Hilaire Bule

However, the Government will first work on its plan to repatriate citizens in Fiji in which a tentative date has been set for the 26th of this month, October 2021.

This was confirmed by Attorney General, John Muria Jnr during the government’s ‘Meet the Press’ media conference this afternoon. 

“Government is also looking at repatriating citizens in Vanuatu as well. But at the moment we are looking at repatriating our citizens from Fiji before Vanuatu and other neighbouring countries,” the Attorney General said.

It was reported that about twenty Solomon Islands nationals, most of whom are nurses whose contracts have lapsed in July, are stranded in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila, due to Covid-19.

National Head of Nursing in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS)  Michael Larui clarified that about 78 nurses that went over to work in Port Vila did not sign an agreement with the Solomon Islands Government.

“I would like to put it straight here that there was not any agreement that was signed between the Solomon Islands Government, Vanuatu Government did direct recruitment under an individual contract basis with these nurses,” Larui said.  

He said the nurses have to resign before they travel over to Vanuatu. 

“However, they are our citizens and there will be job opportunities that they can apply for and still be recruited by the government when they return,” Mr Larui said.  

by Jared Koli

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