Inaugural meeting for Pacific heads of nurses set to influence and drive regional health priorities

This article originally appeared on the Pacific Community website and can be accessed here.

The Heads of Nursing from Pacific Island Countries and Territories will convene in Nadi, Fiji from the 11th- 13th of February 2020 for the inaugural Pacific Heads of Nurses (PHoN) Meeting. This is the first time such a meeting has taken place, reflecting the increasing recognition of the essential role nurses play in Pacific health services.

The PHoN meeting provides nurses with a convening platform at the same level as the Directors of Clinical Services (DCS) and the Directors of Public Health (DPH), enabling them to better influence and drive health priorities and policies in the region.

The PHoN meeting is organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) with assistance from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and other key partners including Australian College operating Room Nurses (ACORN), International College of Nurses (ICN), New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme (NZMTS), Nursing Now, Royal Australian College of Surgeons Pacific Islands Program, UNAIDS, UNICEF, World Bank and WHO.

Director for SPC’s Public Health Division Dr Paula Vivili stated that this meeting is timely given that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

“Nurses are the first point of contact in health facilities and our communities and are the backbone for an operational medical & health workforce. We will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well- being in the Pacific region without a robust nursing workforce.”

The PHoN meeting will allow discussions on nursing issues of strategic importance, identify priority areas for nursing activities related to the Healthy Islands Vision, share opportunities for nursing and provide advice to the Pacific Heads of Health meeting.

Media contact:
Evlyn Mani, Communications and Information officer, Public Health Division, SPC | E: [email protected]

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