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Providing more and better health care, TMO launches strategic plan

Monday 13 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, National


Providing more and better health care, TMO launches strategic plan
Health secretary Bob Williams. 23110442

With the mission to provide exceptional clinical care for the people of Cook Islands, the Ministry of Health has been working closely with Pasifika Medical to provide and look after those who are referred to New Zealand for further care.

This will take effect from November 27.

Te Marae Ora (TMO), Health Ministry’s secretary Bob Williams revealed this at the launch of its 2023-2027 Te Marae Ora Ara-Tango Anga’anga – National Health Strategic Plan.

And providing better care for referral patients is one of their key focuses on the plan that relates to hospital health services.

“Our mission is to provide exceptional clinical care and services in strict adherence to the policies and resources stipulated by TMO ensuring the utmost satisfaction of our patients.

“We know that we deliver secondary and tertiary care people at our main hospital health services.

The aim is to improve health delivery and hospital health services including the referral of our people to New Zealand,” Williams said at the launch on Friday.

He said: “This is an area that we've been working on with our counterparts in New Zealand. That's been ominous as announced. But we've delayed for Pasifika Medical Association through a to Pasifika in New Zealand to take over responsibility of looking after and caring of our people being referred to New Zealand to take effect from the 27th of this month, November going forward.”

He said it is a way of providing the best services for those who will be referred to for further health care in New Zealand.

The strategic plan also focuses on the Pa Enua, non-communicable diseases (NCD), oral health and mental health.

Williams said the strategic plan provides the founding pathway of Cook Islands health journey for the next five years.

He explained that the key plans are guided by eight Key Result Areas (KRAs) and 200 target indicators aiming to ensure that all people living in the Cook Islands live healthier lives.

Williams said they are now prioritising the delivery of health care services to people in the pa enua.

He said this is one of the best documents, that is valid to continue up to 2036 in terms of the way forward for the Ministry of Health.

He said the strategic focus areas for the ministry is health administration and management dedicated to fostering quality health services, ensuring workforce development and implementing robust governance, financial systems and information infrastructure to secure a sustainable future.

Williams said the nursing school that is established with Whitireia Community Polytechnic Limited, New Zealand, and with the University of the South Pacific (USP) is one of the initiatives that they have initiated in terms of growing the health workforce.

“We are also looking at doctors, how we can best increase the number of local doctors for our Minister of Health going forward within the next five years.”

Williams said public health is committed to the enhancement of population health, driven by the principles of universal health coverage and in alignment with the vision of the islands.

“So far, we have launched and roll rolled out to four islands in southern group with our healthy island initiatives and smoke free islands. We will be going to Aitutaki shortly before the end of the month.

He said given the situation with transportation to the northern group, they may not be able to get across before the end of the year.

“But it doesn't mean that we will stop there. It may just that we have to roll out the programme early next year to complete the rollout of the healthy Island initiative and smoke free islands to our Pa Enua, and thanks to UNICEF who has come on board together with who to fund this initiative to be implemented in the Cook Islands.”

In terms of pharmaceutical services and diagnostic diagnostics, TMO aims to enhance quality life for both patients and communities through local medicine.

“Local medicine has been mentioned in the past and we are just looking at best we can integrate local health medicines.

“Something we've been looking at our current existing legislations where best we can accommodate our local traditional healers should they be included in our healthcare delivery of services to our people.”

The plan was launched by Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) Minister Albert Nicholas.


graham roper on 13/11/2023

Mr Williams, TMO plan, version ? Was promised servial times during the year, along with staff pay increases. Constant delays leaves little trust in a plan that, for example explains such things as , what happened to the $5 + million dollars ‘gifted’ by Japan 2 years ago.? ( not that I’m suggesting that the Cook Islands PM was the only supporter of the release of nuclear waste water in Japan) . Maybe the plan also describes the $1.6 million TMO surplus shown in the 2021 accounts?