The Ministry of Health’s policy and planning officer, Valentino Wichman says the five-year strategy comes under the ministry’s 20-year Health Road Map and a draft copy should be completed within the next week.
“This is the first time Cook Islands has planned a 20-year health roadmap with a five year strategy. It’s is the first of its kind in the Pacific.”
Wichman said the main benefit of the road map was that the ministry would be more strategically placed to make better decisions. Ultimately, he says, more favourable outcomes for the people will be achieved.
“It will provide direction for the ministry over the next 20 years and will be operational through the five year strategies.
“In this manner it will place confidence and trust in people as they will know where Health will be in the next 20 years”
Wichman said the ministry would be more focused to ensure the right resources were obtained to achieve the outcomes of the 20-year plan, as the document stated the voice of the people of the Cook Islands.
All stakeholders and members of the general public were involved in an intense consultation process, with inputs coming from a wide cross-section of society in September last year to get plans in place.
Wichman said the ministry acknowledged the support and comments that they had received from everyone who participated, as well as being thankful for the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) through Dr Lepani Waqatakirewa.
“It was challenging to sort through the comments and identify the core issues and integrate them into the strategy and roadmap.
“However it was a very worthwhile exercise that will transpire into more favourable outcomes for our people.”
The ministry was now looking into an appropriate date for the strategy to be launched - possibly Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) day which is held in March, Wichman added.