Vanuatu's Health Minister Hon. Steven Don Ken is currently in Honiara, a visit organized purposely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with his Solomon Islands counterpart to permit Solomon Islands Nurses to work in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu's Health Minister Hon. Steven Don Ken yesterday paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Hon. Danny Philip at the Prime Minister's Office.

Minister Don Ken told Prime Minister Philip that Vanuatu is experiencing "a critical shortage of nurses," and the current arrangement will help improve the situation in his country.

The Minister described the scheme as a win-win situation for both countries in terms of health benefits for Vanuatu and economic gains for Solomon Islands.

In response, Prime Minister Philip said the Solomon Islands Government is pleased to assist Vanuatu as a Melanesian brother.

He added that Solomon Islands and Vanuatu share similar challenges in terms of access to quality health services and building such partnership will benefit both countries.

Minister Don Ken said the Vanuatu Government is also keen to send its students to undertake nursing studies in Solomon Island institutions.

Currently, 8 Ni-Vanuatu students are studying at the Solomon Islands Nursing School in Honiara and Atoifi Nursing School in Malaita.

Minister Don Ken and his Solomon Islands counterpart Hon. Charles Sigoto are expected to sign the MOU in Honiara today morning.

Sources have revealed that the average salary for a nurse would be close to SBD$100,000 per annum tax free. This would also include other benefits such as housing.