PMA's partnership with Polynesian Health Corridors endorsed at PMA Conference
Updates / News, 12 Sep 23
The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) has endorsed their partnership with the New Zealand Ministry of Health's (MoH) Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme at the 2023 PMA Conference in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Recently PMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MoH regarding the programme to extend the impact of PMA and PHC's work and strengthen health systems in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tuvalu and Tokelau.

Chief Executive for PMA, Debbie Sorensen, shares the importance of the relationship.  

"PMA are thrilled to endorse our partnership with Polynesian Health Corridors, an MFAT [Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade] funded initiative that works to strengthen links between health sectors in New Zealand and in the Pacific.  

"This partnership signifies our commitment to serving the health and wellbeing needs of our communities across the Pacific region, and we look forward to the collaborative work ahead with Polynesian Health Corridors to ensure these needs are met." 

Programme Manager for PHC, Falefata Hele Ei Matatia, echoes the importance of the partnership. 

"There is value in working together with PMA. We work in the same space, so for us it's not about duplicating effort but marrying them in terms of how we approach the countries we serve.  

"As Pacific people, our most valuable currency is our relationships and building this relationship together with PMA is an important contribution to effectively manage our resources." 

Matatia commends PMA for their work in the Pacific, specifically the effectiveness of their humanitarian and emergency response programme. 

"PMA is doing a great job in terms of workforce support, especially through the responsiveness and mobilisation of their PACMAT [Pasifika Medical Association Medical Assistance Team] programme, showing their resilience." 

The PHC programme has four key workstreams; cancer prevention and treatment, mental health, access to essential medicine and pandemic preparedness. Matatia attended the 27th annual PMA Conference held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands last week, taking the opportunity to connect with health leaders from across the region.  

"Being part of the PMA conference has allowed us to network with other clinicians, doctors and researchers, some of whom are experts in Pacific indigenous knowledge that is already contributing to the work being done in our key workstreams," says Matatia. 

The 5-year programme intends to also help build the capacity and capability of the health workforce, partners, and organisations across Polynesia.