The Minister for Health & Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate today highlighted that the onus is on each Pacific Island Country to develop and sustain specialist clinical services for the public to access.
The Minister highlighted this as he delivered the opening address at the Sixth meeting for (Strengthening of Specialized Clinical Services in the Pacific) Stakeholders Reference Group .
“To achieve this, Clinical Services must be an integral component of National and Regional Health Plans. Ministries of Health need to work in partnerships with Development Partners, Specialist Colleges, Academic Institutions Non-Government Organizations and the Private Sector”, said Minister Usamate.
He highlighted that the Pacific struggled to retain clinical staff long enough for them to become specialist.
“I know that each Pacific Country is developing its own Specialist Clinical Service, but we are all small in size, have limited resources, so we must pay serious attention to having a sub-regional or regional approach to the delivery of Specialist Clinical service”.
An example of this is the Pacific Eye Institute which is based in Fiji but provides services throughout the region.
“Specialist Clinical Services must be an integral part of any Regional Health Framework or Architecture whether it’s the Pacific Framework for Health or the Yanuca Healthy Islands Declaration and consequently our countries need the Technical Agencies such as SPC, WHO UNFPA, UNICEF to assist countries make cost effective decision’s in the delivery of clinical services because at present the costs of curative and clinical services make up the bulk of expenses of National Budgets”, Minister Usamate said.
The Minister said that Pacific Island countries need Specialist Clinical services and the Government and Ministry of Health & Medical Services is thankful that specialist clinical services become accessible via invite into the country..
This two-day meeting is seeing the participation of Heads of Clinical Services and Permanent Secretaries from health ministries from 14 Pacific Island countries.