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PMA concludes annual conference in the Cook Islands

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) has successfully concluded its highly anticipated PMA 2023 Conference, hosted in the Cook Islands in collaboration with Te Marae Ora (TMO) Cook Islands Ministry of Health. This year’s conference brought together approximately 600 doctors, nurses, students, and health professionals from across the Pacific region to discuss critical health issues and strengthen partnerships. In addition to the conference wrap-up, PMA is pleased to announce that the PMA 2024 Conference will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand.

PMA Chief Executive Officer, Debbie Sorensen, conveys her appreciation for the conference’s achievements.

“I want to extend my gratitude to everyone for joining us at the PMA 2023 Conference in the Cook Islands. Your commitment to improving Pacific healthcare is deeply appreciated.”

“We have witnessed some amazing discussions and presentations over the course of this conference.”

Dr Jitoko Cama, PMA Membership Chair, acknowledges the conference attendees and guests who made the effort to travel long distances to join us at the conference.

“The PMA 2023 Conference went well and we were thrilled to see a record number of attendees. Having members from the Ministry of Health, Allied Health professionals, students, doctors, nurses, and many others join us made the conference an enjoyable experience.”

“We were honoured to have representation from regional and New Zealand development organisations, NGOs, and academic personnel. Our reach extended far and wide, as we welcomed attendees from Alaska, Australia, Pacific nations, and New Zealand.”

One of the highlights of the 2023 PMA Conference was the signing of a partnership agreement between PMA and Te Marae Ora (TMO) Ministry of Health Cook Islands. This partnership signifies a shared commitment to addressing community priorities beyond the healthcare sector. Another major announcement at the conference was the partnership between PMA and the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme.

Mental health was a key topic of discussion at the conference, with experts acknowledging the stigma associated with mental health in the Pacific region. While challenges persist, some positive developments were reported, such as the establishment of the National Mental Health Committee in Samoa and a mental health study in the Cook Islands, showing better mental health outcomes among Cook Islanders born in the Pacific.

At the PMA 2023 Conference Dinner, Life Member and Service Awards were given to distinguished Cook Islands health leaders for their significant contributions to the health needs of Pacific communities.

PMA is excited to announce that the PMA 2024 Conference will take place in Christchurch, New Zealand. The conference will continue to bring together healthcare professionals and experts to connect and address health issues in the Pacific region.


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