|Location||1 week||2 weeks||4 weeks|
|$1,095 AUD||$1,395 AUD||$2,095 AUD|
The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago of 176 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. Captain James Cook explored Tonga in 1773 and was so impressed with their local hospitality he called them the ‘Friendly Islands’.
Medical volunteering in Tonga is a unique experience. The main hospital and a primary health care clinic will welcome you to share your skills and experience with the local staff.
As a Polynesian monarchy, the Tongans have proudly retained their local culture and traditions. Tongan arts and handicrafts have been passed down through the generations. In more recent times, Tongans have embraced Christianity and a visit to one of the many churches on Sunday is a special and memorable occasion. With warm weather all year round, Tonga makes an ideal destination to enjoy a jungle adventure, stunning landscapes and pristine beaches.
While medical volunteering in Tonga, you will need an open mind, a level of resourcefulness, patience, compassion, good-humour and a flexible attitude to be able to make-do and improvise.
We arrange the local medical registration which may take up to 1 month to complete and therefore please apply at least 2 months prior to departure!
The Vaiola Hospital is based in the capital city of Nuku’alofa and has 200 beds, 52 doctors and around 245 nurses. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and ischaemic heart disease are major issues in Tonga.
The hospital welcomes professionals who can help treat patients – and also help train, develop and mentor local medical professionals and students. Join the ward rounds and doctors’ meetings to discuss cases and undertake some formal and informal coaching. The main departments include Surgical, ED, O&G, Paediatrics, Mental Health and General Medicine. There are also Community Outreach Programs (with specific focus on diabetes, dental, medical or health promotion) involving bi-weekly visits to remote villages, homes and health centres to provide healthcare to the local people.
Students are also welcome to do their medical electives and international work experience in medical, dental, physio or nursing. Students can join the ward rounds, doctors’ meetings, rotate through the various departments and join an outreach program.
The hours are 8.30 am – 4.30 pm Monday to Friday. Although there is usually plenty of work to do, the pace is slower than what you may anticipate and therefore allow plenty of time and energy to explore the environment. It is more rewarding when you have time to understand the health care system, and get to know local customs and people. As with all volunteering projects you will need an open mind, a level of resourcefulness, patience, compassion, good-humour and a flexible attitude to be able to get the most out of your placement.
1 week: A$1,395 (single room) / A$1,095 (twin share)
2 weeks: A$1,995 (single room) / A$1,395 (twin share)
3 weeks: A$2,695 (single room) / A$1,795 (twin share)
4 weeks: A$3,295 (single room) / A$2,095 (twin share)
|Placement, pre-departure support and information pack.|
Local Medical Registration
|Lunch, dinner and drinks (A supermarket is close by as well as a selection of cafes and restaurants)|
|Airport transfers||Items of a personal nature (eg. telephone, internet, laundry)|
|Accommodation in a single or twin room with own bathroom, TV, microwave and fridge.||Travel insurance, Passport fees, Vaccinations|
|Continental Breakfast daily|
There are comfortable outdoor lounges to enjoy in the garden and the property is conveniently located to the hospital.
|Flights (and taxes) to and from Nukuálofa, Tonga|
ARRIVAL & ORIENTATION
You will fly into Nuku‘alofa International Airport. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation.
Tonga’s climate is warm, tropical and welcoming. Temperatures are warm all year round and while it is hot in summer, it rarely reaches above 35°C . Tropical rains fall from December through February, coinciding with the warmest summer months. The winter temperatures (April to September) are only slightly cooler than summer temperatures (November to February). Modest dress is necessary for both Tongans and visitors. Allowances are made for tourists at beaches while many Tongans remain conservatively covered while swimming.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (‘CPD’) & PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY
Your medical voluntary work may be eligible for CPD points with your relevant college. We will send you a copy of the guiding information with your travel documents. We recommend that volunteers advise their professional indemnity provider of their medical volunteering in Tonga in advance of travel.
DEPOSIT A deposit of A$495.00 will be requested after your placement is confirmed and this deposit is non-refundable.
FINAL PAYMENT is due two months prior to departure.
Airlines flying to Tonga include Qantas, Fiji Airways, Virgin and Air New Zealand.
REGISTRATION, VISAS and PASSPORT
Short term Volunteers (less than one month) can obtain a visitor visa on arrival and this may be extendable after your arrival. Longer term volunteers may need an employment visa prior to arrival in Tonga. Medical students and medical practitioners also require temporary medical registration and we will arrange this for you – the process may take a month and therefore please apply well in advance.
Please ensure that your passport expires at least 6 months after you return home and that you have some spare blank pages in your passport.
Please refer to the Conditions section on the Application Form.
Please note that all costs are subject to change due to increases in taxes, hotel and volunteer price increases, as well as currency adjustments.