One of the priorities of the Ministry of Health (MoH) this year is the re-registration the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education (VCNE) with the Vanuatu Qualification Authority (VQA).

The Nursing College has stopped offering enrolment since last year, due to quality issues which include having no strategic policy, inappropriate legal entity status, lack of effective budgeting and financial management, teaching qualifications, unaccredited courses, and inadequate availability of facilities and resource required for course delivery.

These issues were identified in an audit conducted by VQA as the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) Regulator.

VQA recommended that the course accreditation be suspended until the issues are addressed.

On Tuesday last week, the MOH took a significant step in the re-registration process of the VCNE by hosting a Strategic Plan Consultation Meeting.

The consultation was led by the Acting Director of Corporate Services, Policy, and Planning at ministry, Morris Amos, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VQA, David Lambukly, MOH Principal Nursing Officer Harriet Sam, VCNE Principal Education Evelyn Emile, and senior officers from the MOH and representatives of the Australian-funded Vanuatu Australia Health Partnership and Vanuatu Skills Partnership.

The MOH said the primary objective of the consultation was to progress the re-registration process of VCNE, aligning it with the standards set by VQA.

“As part of this compliance, a comprehensive five-year strategic plan was presented to the VCNE board and its stakeholders for collaborative discussion and feedback,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The MOH acknowledges the joint efforts demonstrated by all the partners involved in the re-registration process of the VCNE,” remarked Mr. Amos, Acting Director of Corporate Services, Policy, and Planning.

“The renewal of the registration of the VCNE is progressing well thanks to the diligent work of the VQA.”

The Australian Government is supporting the ministry in re-registering the Nursing School through the Vanuatu Australia Health Partnership and the Vanuatu Skills Partnerships.

In October 2023, these two Australian-funded initiatives formalised their commitment through a partnership agreement, ensuring a coordinated approach to support MOH in implementing its key priorities.

The ministry assured it is committed to ensuring that VCNE re-registers in 2024 through the support of its partners, to contribute to the overall improvement of healthcare services in Vanuatu.