Workforce - Strengthening Strategies, Supporting Careers 2012
The Pasifika Medical Association's 15th annual conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand this year. The key themes at the event were:
Strengthening Career Pathways and Development
Disaster Responsiveness and Preparedness
The event this year focussed on how health workers play a number of significant roles in the community. Health workers are healers, leaders, supporters and comforters. They interact with all members of the family and community from the elderly to the newly born. They possess a unique gift as powerful advocates for change to benefit the people we serve from delivering essential services to advocating for improved conditions within our communities.
It is estimated that there are over 50 countries with critical shortages in their health workforce. This was estimated by the World Health Organisation (2006) to be in the range of 4 million doctors, nurses, midwives, public health workers and managers. In New Zealand and the Pacific region, the challenge to develop and support a well-trained and skilled workforce to meet the health needs of the countries populations, is high on the agenda of Governments and health policy makers.
Everyone should have access to essential health care. A health system with the right workforce, in the right place, available at the right time is critical to improving health outcomes.
Claiming Healthy Futures 2011
The clinical themes for PMA's 2011 conference, Cancer and Child and Maternal health, were carefully identified to reflect the growing urgency of these key issues within the region.
In a period of scarce resources, Pacific health leaders make decisions regarding health investments whilst dealing with the growing demand and urgency of non communicable diseases. Further, Malaria and HIV still remain key dominating health challenges for some Pacific countries. Pacific countries are equally concerned with the ongoing challenges of disaster management and global warming whilst delivering on their responsibilities with regard to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). These issues require engagement not only of countries and health workers, but of donors and partners.
Changing our Future 2010
The themes for PMA's 2010 conference included “Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Workforce”, “Disasters – Our Stories, Our Experiences” and “Evidence based Policy and Decision making”.
The aim of these themes were to provide an opportunity for participants to share their knowledge, to learn from each other’s experiences, to strengthen clinical networks in the region and to examine the important issues that we as Pacific health professionals feel are relevant to our communities.