Information for Patients
Legislation in Tuvalu prevents the operation of private medical practices and pharmacies, and all facilities available on the islands are public, with 99% of total health funding provided by the government. The country’s only hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, is located in Funafuti and is capable of providing basic primary healthcare as well as dental and pharmaceutical services. There are also eight medical centres, located on the outer islands. Those facilities are staffed by nurses who mainly provide primary care and preventive services. Family planning services are jointly provided by the public health services and the Tuvalu Family Planning Association. Tuvalu’s main pharmacy is in the Princess Margaret Hospital, and is responsible for the procurement of drugs and reproductive health commodities from suppliers. Patients needing advanced clinical cares that exceed the hospital level are referred to overseas hospitals through the Tuvalu Medical Treatment Scheme.
Information for Health Care Professionals
There is a very severe shortage of qualified health care professionals in Tuvalu. Most medical professionals are recruited by the government. The Princess Margaret Hospital on Funafuti is the only hospital in Tuvalu and the primary provider of medical services. The Tuvaluan medical staff at the hospital in 2011 comprised the Director of Health & Surgeon, the Chief Medical Officer Public Health, an anaesthetist, a paediatric medical officer and an obstetrics and gynaecology medical officer. Allied health staff include two radiographers, two pharmacists, three laboratory technicians, two dieticians and 13 nurses with specialised training in fields including surgical nursing, anaesthesia nursing/ICU, paediatric nursing and midwifery. It also employs a dentist. The Department of Health also employs nine or ten nurses on the outer islands to provide general nursing and midwifery services.
There is no institute of medical education in Tuvalu.
Information for Travelers
Medical tourism does not occur in Tuvalu, as serious cases are sent to Fiji or New Zealand under a medical referral scheme. Travelers to Vanuatu are advised to take the following vaccines: Hepatitis A and B, Malaria, Measles, and Typhoid.
Link to the Ministry of health website for that country: http://www.gov.ai/ministry.php?id=2