25 Aug 2016

Pacific health leadership on conference agenda in Auckland

10:38 am on 25 August 2016

Pacific Health Ministers and Directors are in Auckland for a conference that begins today on health leadership in the region.

Mrs Debbie Sorensen, Director, Pasifika Future

Mrs Debbie Sorensen, Director, Pasifika Future Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

The Pasifika Medical Association is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is looking at how to collaborate further around the Pacific to improve the delivery of health services and hospital care.

It's also looking at steps taken in New Zealand and the Pacific to inspire young students into medicine.

The CEO of the association, Debbie Sorensen, said there was much to celebrate, but small island states are the ones facing the bigger challenges.

"The issue I think in the Pacific is the volume of the health workers we have and how many doctors we have related to the health budget and the health spend."

"So in small economies it's very challenging to have the right size health budget and the right size workforce," she said.

Debbie Sorensen said she hopes young doctors in the Pacific are given leadership positions as an incentive for them to stay.