Vanuatu Nurses Association President Slams Statement

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Taiganvat urges ‘deputy president’ to stop abusing VNA name

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 29, 2013) – Nurses Association President, Willie Reuben Taiganvat, says the Vanuatu Nurses Association (VNA) is a constitutional body as it is registered and all its members are affiliated to it.

He has made the clarification and delivered a warning to a group of senior health staff led by Anne Pakoa, who says she is the Deputy President of the Vanuatu Nurses Association, to stop using the name of the association.

The VNA President asks her and her group to stop abusing the name of the organization saying all of them are not affiliated to the VNA.

"As such, you are not authorised to use the name of the nurses association as of today (yesterday) or allowed to claim to represent the nurses because you are not affiliated to the organisation," he said.

[PIR editor’s note: Previously, Daily Post reported Pakoa, as vice president of the association, had strongly condemned decentralization reform within the Health Ministry. The statement from VNA also called for the resignation of the Health Ministry's acting director general, Dr. Santus Wari, to avoid a national strike action.]

He said the VNA Executive will sit next week to discuss the claims raised by Anne Pakoa and her group saying it is a serious allegation to claim to be speaking on behalf of the nurses.

"The VNA Executive is made up of professional nurses and we are not politicians.

"For Miss Pakoa to refer to ‘political cronies’ is serious and we have to look into that to decide what is the best approach to apply to deal with it," he said.

Taiganvat says it is unrealistic to predict that the nurses would go on strike if their demands are not met "adequately."

"While nurses have outstanding issues to their salaries that date back 15 years, all members of the Association are also aware of the importance to work because they have outstanding commitments with children’s school fees, loans and bills to settle," he said.

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