“Grateful to be together again” – PMA Conference 2022
Updates / News , 20 Sep 22
The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) welcomed a number of dignitaries from across the Pacific as part of the official opening of the annual PMA Conference, which took place at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington.

Those in attendance included the PMA Patron, Lord Tangi ‘o Vaonukonuka (FRACS), Minister for Health and Medical Services of Fiji, Hon. Dr Ifereimi Waqanaibete, Minister for Health of Tonga, Hon. Saia Ma’u Piukala and Associate Minister of Health for Pacific Peoples, Hon. Aupito Tofae Su’a William Sio. 

Also present at the formal opening was High Commissioner for Tuvalu, HE Mr Feue Tipu, High Commissioner for the Cook Islands, HE Mrs Elizabeth Wright-Koteka and Cook Islands Health Secretary, Mr Bob Williams. 

The presence of Lord Tangi in particular was of significance as it was his inaugural appearance as the PMA Patron.

“After many challenging years, I am very grateful to be together again; this is also the first event I am attending as the Patron and I will be devoted to filling this responsibility to a high standard.

PMA has set a vision and it is to serve and it’s amazing to look back at how much has been achieved in just 26 years.”

The PMA Conference was themed Reconnect, Reflect, Reframe & Reenergise, with the opening day focused on Reframe and Reenergise. 

As part of the discussions around the Reframe theme, the focus was on climate change, which included a conference call from the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIFS), Mr Henry Puna. 

“Climate change is the biggest threat to Pacific livelihood and right now we are in a climate emergency. 

Moving forward, we need to collectively work together to advocate for climate justice. Although the Pacific are not the perpetrators of climate change, we must stand together to tackle the issue.”

The conversations around the Reenergise theme focused on equity, which included a panel of experts in different fields to talk on the topic.

Te Whatu Ora’s National Director for Pacific Health, Ms Meg Poutasi, highlighted that equity in health can be achieved if the community is better involved.

“Equity is a challenge for us all and a key part of how we can achieve equity is to have the community involved as they hold the design and solutions. 

We also need to continue growing our Pacific workforce and providing opportunities for development.” 

Throughout the day, conference attendees also had the opportunity to hear from different people presenting on their abstracts, covering a range of topics such as mental health, women in surgery and outreach programmes. 

 

View the Conference Gallery here.


Date: Tuesday 20 September

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