19 Aug 2003

Cook Islands developing five year health plan

4:44 pm on 19 August 2003

The Cook Islands ministry of health says it will target the upgrading of facilities, and staff training and expertise, in its new five year development plan.

The acting secretary of health, Adi Narayan, says they will be seeking accreditation for the nursing school and laboratory.

And, he says they are also developing Telehealth and Open Distance Learning which will enable doctors and nurses to access information or advice that is not currently available in the country.

Mr Narayan says that the building of three new hospitals in the outer islands is part of the focus on infrastructure in the new plan.

"Upgrade our facilities at the hospitals, both here in Rarotonga as well as the outer islands. and our priority would be mostly on the outer islands. We have three hospitals, that have been given the go ahead by the Cabinet, and we will be building two hospitals on Manihiki, and one on Penrhyn. this will be the first major infrastructure upgrading in the outer islands."

Mr Narayan says the Cook Islands is looking to engage a health planner to assist in the development of the five year plan.