Dr. Santus Wari

Former Director General and Director for Hospital Services

Dr. Santus Wari
Dr. Santus Wari
Former Director General and Director for Hospital Services

Present Happenings

Dr. Santus Wari is a graduate of Conventional Medical Education from Fiji School of Medicine in 1993.
 Completed medical internship under Australian technical support to Vanuatu. Under Australian specialist staffing support, surgical capacity and technical skills transfer was undertaken over a period over 10 years.
It involved wide areas of general surgery; a rare exposure in a third world under the tutelage and coaching of Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeon.
A rare opportunity and exposure in a third world country to that vast set of skills transfer from a caliber of a dying breed in a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeon, RACS, General Surgeon who was blessed with vast surgical skills befitting third World challenges.
With a wealth of clinical experience particularly a strong surgical background Dr. Wari becomes a national asset for both local and regional surgical responsibilities. He holds the post of Senior Surgical Consultant under the Vanuatu Public Service.
He thoroughly enjoys his responsibilities in decision making, linking the theories of medical sciences, human anatomy, surgical knowledge, skills and experiences in a real world. He served as senior surgeon at the two referral hospital in Vanuatu;
Vila Central Hospital and Northern Provincial Hospital where he was also medical services manager besides his surgical responsibilities. He has high respect for continuing medical education, an ardent advocate, enjoys teaching medical students and nurses alike in upholding   good quality care and professional ethics and quality standards.
He was Director of Hospital Services and   Director General for Ministry of Health. He has wide exposure and executive experiences in running the national health affairs dealing with different facets of policy frameworks impacting on health services. Whilst, he is currently enjoying his time off since beginning of 2020, Dr. Wari is currently assisting and providing leading support and assistance towards specific community developments.
That support focusses on medical strategic planning, linking specific national health policies to sectorial development including custom governance, social and economic development with ongoing projects especially in his home island of Maewo. Building from the challenges he has encountered in the past years, delivering services for the Vanuatu Government and his community, Dr. Wari is focusing much of his time planning forward looking development plans for Maewo island that he believes will contribute to minimize rates of such experiences and that will contribute to positively impacts to his communities’ lives.

Professional History

Dr. Wari has been acting former Director General and Director for Hospital Services respectively in the past 10 years of his executive career.
Amidst his executive services and experiences servicing the Vanuatu Government and its people, he has also served in government in his capacity as the Acting Medical Superintendent of Vanuatu’s main hospitals.
These positions were taken up with loads of expectations and service delivery across the country.
Undertaking the executive functions and duties, Dr. Wari’s mandated obligation is to ensure there are coordination between the Ministry of Health, the departments under the said Ministry, other government ministries, Non-Government Organizations and other stake holders.

As one of the most important responsibilities; lead and review policies relating to the core mandates of the ministry of health, undertake urgent need of health development that will positively impact the citizens especially   on projects and other activities that are happening in all levels of health operations across Vanuatu.
Additionally, monitor and review performances of Doctors and nurses, nurse aids etcetera to ensure they are effectively delivering the respective services they are hired to perform under performance agreement. Human resources development is an area Dr. Wari has special interest in developing   nurses, paramedics and doctors to required trainings for capacity buildings to meet the Ministry of Health national plans and objectives.

Importantly, Dr. Wari’s one of key responsibilities was to ensure there is budget provided for health development and that there is appropriate management and control of approved budget for national health services development across Vanuatu.

 As described above, Dr. Wari has developed and built a lot of experiences being the Acting Medical Superintendent of Vila Central Hospital and the Senior General Surgeon and Medical Superintendent at the Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) on Santo respectively. 
Being the superintendents, Dr. Wari’s duty was to ensure medical treatment and services are effectively and efficiently carried out in respective hospitals.  Especially, to maintain focus and continuity of medical services by Doctors, nurses, mid-wives, paramedics and more other functions requiring close attention.   

Dr. Wari, in his last 20 years, was heavily serving as one of the main surgeons of Vanuatu providing advice and guidance, including monitoring functions over newly appointed Doctors to ensure transfer of appropriate lifesaving skills are passed on.

Dr. Wari’s full career history on development in Vanuatu’s economy can be obtain by communicating directly with him on his email.

Community Development

Apart from surgical works and other directorial duties described above, Dr. Wari has frequently involved in other community health activities including his service as one of the board members for Vanuatu Health Practitioners, served as one of the board member for Pharmacy Service Commission. 

Additionally, he was appointed to be the medical officer for Vanuatu National Provident fund officer responsible for medical examination and recommendation of members on medical grounds to the board for access to their financial savings.  Dr. Wari was also appointed to be responsible for New Zealand Regional Employment Scheme responsible for medical checks on aspiring Ni-Vanuatu workers heading to New Zealand from 2009 to 2016.

He has once served as the President of Vanuatu’s Medical Dental Association in 2003 to 2004. He is also a member of the Pacific Islands Association of Surgeons.


  1. First Ni-Vanuatu to have had formal surgical training under foreign team couching and support. This was vital as the capacity and skills acquired really have a lot of positive impacts on the people who come to seek good health.

  2. Subsequently first Ni- Vanuatu ever recognized Senior Consultant Surgeon, under the Vanuatu Government. 

  3. Coming from Conventional Medicine with strong internship and couching, I have mastered many vital lifesaving surgical skills in general surgery. Therefore, remained an asset to the country.

  4. As medical superintendent of the prime hospital, Vila Central. The Hospital, (VCH), recognized the need to formally establish the medical internship program in Vanuatu for the first time. This was to make use of the Australian medical team on the ground which went on to assist local capacity building in a big way.

  5. As medical superintendent of VCH was instrumental to promote and upgrade the diagnostic capacity of the hospital. Hence secured two scholarships for the training of a radiologist and pathologist. They are now graduated. However, will need couching along with equipment upgrade.

  6. As medical superintendent of Northern Provincial Hospital, i advocated for strong rural outreach programs. Subsequently led a small surgical team for frequent screening and minor procedures to the satisfaction of many.

  7. As medical superintendent and surgeon, he took pride in teaching and couching medical interns and young doctors to make good clinical judgements and apply appropriate skills. This would ensure they could help people in communities where they are posted to.

  8. As Director of Hospital Services, i contributed heavily on the policy of Role Delineation. This defines and put clarity in the roles of different health facilities with the referral hospitals at the top and Aid posts at the bottom, i.e. in the community. Here other policy matters like equipment and health information on systemic are branching policies.

  9. Coming from a background of conventional medicine, he was instrumental at Director level to ensure, health Data through the Health Information System is promoted strongly so as to lead decision making. He became chairman of this policy. He sought assistance from donor partners to which a good response was given to put in place appropriate hospital data system.

  10. As Director General of Health he was tasked to undertake a major health restructuring and re-forms. Health was the first ministry to complete the 100-day plan. Subsequently he successfully negotiated donor funds to roll the reform out.

  11. As Director General of Health, in my quest to promote strong diagnostic services, he created a council paper to acquire a CT SCAN. This paper got approved by the Council of Ministers.

  12. As Director General of Health, he advocated very strongly for the promotion of Primary Health Care so that health services can be taken to 80 percent of rural dwellers. This goes along well with over 95 percent of doctors who have graduated with Primary Health Care based knowledge and skills.

  13. He attempted to improve the quality of hospital Care through negotiations with donor partners to supply foreign doctors who would teach and couch local counterparts. The response was positive and immediate. However, it is yet to be realized after changes in administration have taken place.

  14. As Director of Hospital Services, he sought donor assistance to create an internship program that could accommodate graduates from nontraditional medical back grounds like China, Cuba, Khasakstan, Fiji National University and University of Papua New Guinea etc. It responded well. The experience has been interesting.

  15. As Director General of Health, he was instrumental to create revenue from existing Public Health Laws. That is shipping sanitation. This is to promote self-funding of wide health activities, at the same time relief the form the national budget pressure.

  16. As Director General of Health, was leading team member to incorporate climate change policy with health. Funding from climate change was approved part of which was to create a local training syllabus. This undertaking was linked with regional Universities and other stake holders. This vision was to create great positive impacts across many livelihoods.