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Specialists to stay in Vanuatu for two years

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 10, 2008) – The Vanuatu government is finalising an arrangement with Cuba which will see six Cuban doctors being employed on two-year contracts.

The Director of Public Health, Len Tarivonda, says they are expected to arrive this year while 17 Vanuatu students will begin medical studies in Cuba next month.

Mr Tarivonda says Vanuatu has chosen to hire a surgeon, a pathologist and four general practitioners to work in provincial hospitals.

He says under the agreement, Vanuatu will pay the doctors’ return airfares and provide accommodation.

"We would need to pay first a small amount of money every month as a form of local allowance that will be paid to them but the salary is taken care of by their own government ."

Len Tarivonda says Cuban doctors cost less than those from Australia and New Zealand.

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