Dr Andy Ilo

Dr Andy Ilo (Left), Medical Superintendent Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) explains the ambulance bay and renovations to Sister Claudine Bani, who is Sister In-Charge of Emergency Department.

Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) in Luganville  is the second largest hospital.  It serves Vanautu’s northern islands and is the second largest hospital in the Republic of Vanuatu. It is a poorly resourced hospital but there is high morale amongst the workforce. The hospital has just over 100 beds spread over Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and TB wards, as well as hosting Outpatients, X-Ray, laboratory and limited ultrasound facilities. Part of the hospital has recently been rebuilt, and opened.

The Northern Provincial Hospital is on a hill above Luganville, a relatively small town with fairly basic but adequate amenities. It is to this community, and those in the rural areas surrounding the town, to which the hospital provides services. The hospital also serves the people living on other northern islands of Vanuatu such as the Banks islands. The hospital is often under-funded by the central Vanuatuan Government and it often relies on aid from overseas countries; notably Australia, New Zealand, and China.

The hospital is on Espiritu Santo, a beautiful island in the northern archipelago of Vanuatu. The island has a reputation for excellent diving and the world’s largest divable wreck, the USS Coolidge, is off the coast. The hospital also hosts one of two hyperbaric chambers in Vanuatu (it is probably the better of the two facilities for diving medicine) and treats milder diving related illnesses, however, serious medical cases are evacuated to Australia and New Zealand by ProMedical, a dedicated private Antipodean medical extraction service.

Anyone interested in volunteering at Northern Provincial Hospital should contact the medical superintendent Dr Andy Ilo  Email Dr Andy Ilo or call him on   +678 7730804 or +678 7742499  .  

The paediatric surgeon in charge of surgery is Dr Basil Leodoro . You can contact Dr Leodoro by email   Email Basil Leodoro .  Alternately you can contact K Norman   Email K Norman or Prisca Michel   Email Prisca Michel or call her on   +678 36345  .  DAll doctors volunteering in Vanuatu must have approved temporary medical registration and gave their trip approved by the Ministry for Health executive (Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health, Mr. George Taleohe, and Director of Hospital Curative Services Dr Willie Tokon ).  The Director of Hospital Curative Services Dr Willi Tokon needs to approve all volunteer visits.

Getting there

Although a number of Ocean Liners offer cruises both one way and return trips to Luganville, travelling by plane is the easiest and quickest.

A number of airlines offer regular budget direct return flights from Sydney & Brisbane to Port villa. It is only a 50 minute flight from Port Villa to Santa Pekoa International Airport (also called Espiritu Santa Airport).  Air Vanuatu offer two flights a day from Port Villa to Santa Pekoa International Airport for under $350 return. This airport is 5km from Luganville .

Luganville

Accommodation

There are many accommodation options.  The closest accommodation to the Northern District Hospital is Deco Stop Lodge, a three star lodge only 200 metres walking distance from the Northern District Hospital. The Espiritu Hotel is a three star hotel for $150 a night 800 metres walk from the hospital. Luganville business hotel is 600 metres from the hospital, and although four star, lacks the authentic island charm of the Espiritu Hotel. Village De Santo Resort is the top of the range four star accommodation located on the beach the other side of town, being  1.5 km from the Hospital costing only $150 a night.

Diving

Luganville is said to offer the best diving in the world .