Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health service delivery and workforce development in the Pacific is the focus of a new Australian Government funded program to be implemented through a partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC), the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

In the new Pacific Regional Clinical Services and Workforce Improvement Program, SPC will play a central role in supporting Pacific Island countries (PICs) to work together to improve regional governance for clinical services and health workforce development to ensure that the teams of medical specialists who visit Pacific Island countries are well coordinated and make best use of their expertise and knowledge for patients and for training doctors in the region.

SPC will have a key role in strengthening the networks of clinical professionals and institutions, and improving the production and exchange of information between clinical health stakeholders.

SPC’s Public Health Division will assume these new roles from April 2017, commencing with the hosting of the Pacific Directors of Clinical Services meeting on 24 April in Suva, Fiji.

In welcoming the initiative, SPC’s Public Health Director, Dr Paula Vivili said “The expansion of the division’s role complements its ongoing work in strengthening the regional health architecture including SPC‘s secretariat support for the annual Pacific Heads of Health and the biennial Pacific Health Ministers meetings.”

This new initiative is a broader regional program that builds on the recently completed Australian Government funded Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services (SSCSiP) in the Pacific Program which was hosted by the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Services.

SSCSiP supported 14 Pacific Island countries to strengthen and improve their respective planning and management of specialised clinical services. This support included improved coordination and country ownership of specialised clinical services support for the Pacific, and improved capacity of the Pacific clinical workforce.

The six-year project also contributed to the establishment of the only biomedical technician training program in the region, hosted at the Fiji National University.

Media contact:
Taniela Sunia Soakai, Deputy Director, Public Health Division, SPC, [email protected] or +679 337 9367