Secretarial support for 1 year Port Vila Hospital, Vanuatu

Why was it initiated?

Our initial contact with Dr Richard Leona (chief surgeon Vanuatu) was at an international aid meeting in Australia. A follow –up visit to see what commonalities existed in our agendas was arranged and it became clear that administrative support was a major impediment to efficient service delivery. We were in the early phases of negotiations. It was foreseen that these would be inexorably delayed by time constraints and provision of secretarial support would enhance service delivery across the hospital.

What were its aims? 

To provide part time secretarial support for the administrative section of Port Vila hospital,  particularly as it related to possible future involvement of MESCH in Vanuatu.

When did it run?


Who has been involved?

Port Vila Hospital, Vanuatu Dr Richard Leona
MESCH Narelle and John Cassey

What happened?

Dr Leona identified his wife as the best candidate for the job. It was clear from the 3 month review that she lacked the experience to do the tasks required. Her failure to meet targets at 6 months resulted in funds being withdrawn. 1500 AUD was spent on this.


Our decision to earmark funds for this was based both on recommendations by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (based on their association with Dr Leona) and from a personal visit to Port Vila hospital. We learnt not only about individuals but also about processes in Vanuatu and, in particular the culture of aid there. The decision to withdraw funding was completely appropriate. 

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