Richard Leona, one of the founders of PUDP. Photo: Godwyn Ligo/DP
The new political party being launched on the National Unity Day (29th November), People’s Unity Development Party (PUDP), has chosen health as one of its priorities it wants to see the improvement in its facilities.
The interim chairman of PUDP James Bule announced during the launching that the constitution of the new political party was yet to be launched once completed with its flag and its policies aimed to develop the rural areas and to improve and upgrade the existing facilities, mainly in health sector.
The interim vice-chairman of PUDP Richard Leona was not present at the launching as he was on an overseas trip and he has instructed her sister Rosemary to read his speech on his behave.
The man who run on independent ticket and came fifth in 2016 snap elections with 579 votes behind the NUP president Ham Lini (587 votes) in Pentecost constituency has a long experience as an health practitioner.
The holder of a Masters of Medecine in Surgery from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji said in his written speech that Vanuatu needs to put more attention on health sector so that the service delivery can reach all the people on rural areas.
“Currently, what Vanuatu has in terms of health facilities providing services is very low compare to the increasing number of people in the country. Vanuatu has to commit itself to develop and improve the facilities to provide good health to its citizens,” said the North Pentecost man who used to be the superintendent of Vila Central Hospital.
For him, Vanuatu can become a healthy developed country only if its citizens are physically healthy.
Richard Leona who was practicing as a consultant general surgeon at Vila Central Hospital has initiated the construction of a mini hospital at Loltong in North Pentecost to accommodate surgery operating facilities. His dream does not come reality yet but his aim was to create something for people on Pentecost and for other on the neighboring islands who used to travel to Luganville and Port Vila for medical surgery.
There are rumors that he planned to run again in the next legislative race in Pentecost constituency.