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76th TMA and Pacific Island Emergency Medicine Conference underway at Tanoa Hotel

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14th August, 2018 New Zealand’s Acting High Commissioner H.E. Ms Elena Procuta opened the 76th Tongan Medical Association annual conference and the Pacific Island Emergency Medicine Conference this morning at Tanoa Dateline under the theme ‘Pacific Islands’ Emergency Medicine: Past, Present and Future’.

The three-day conference focuses on the Emergency Department of the Ministry of Health where participants will share experiences and skills to improve their work.  The event is attended by more than 20 regional participants.

Ms. Procuta said that New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has contributed just under NZ$5 million to support various health projects in Tonga over the past three years.

“These include projects in non-communicable disease prevention, maternal and child health, sexual and productive health, eye care, laboratory quality assurance and environmental public health.”

“These projects are seeing positive results primarily because they draw on Tonga’s well-performing health care system and collaborative relationships.”

She stated that the Medical Treatment Scheme which has been in operation for more than 30 years in the Pacific has increased “access for men, women, and children in Tonga to secondary and tertiary health care” that is not accessible for Tongan citizens.

The scheme includes overseas referrals, visiting medical specialists and strengthening in-country capacity.

She said that 11 patients from Tonga have “received life-saving specialist medical treatment in New Zealand and 27 patients received treatment in Tonga from visiting medical specialists from New Zealand.”

Procuta said that New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is looking towards changing the nature of its engagement through “greater partnership, deeper policy engagement and strengthening linkages” with New Zealand’s health system.

“This includes new health initiatives to increase access to essential medicines such as options for extending PHARMAC’s commercial arrangements to Pacific countries.”

The conference is attended by more than 20 regional participants, local doctors and nurses.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications.

 

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