HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Minister of Health to share ideas in Geneva and forge new agreements in NZ
The Minister of Health Hon Nandi Glassie will attend the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting followed by the World Health Assembly in Geneva this month, at which he will discuss with leaders how they are tackling critical issues such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in their countries.
More than 170 countries are expected to be represented by their Ministers and Heads of Departments at the Commonwealth Minsters’ Meeting which Minister Glassie describes as being, “the most prominent forum for world leaders to share ideas, become acquainted with each other’s programmes to address NCDs and provide information to help inform policy development here in the Cook Islands.”
The election of a new Director-General will dominate discussions at the World Health Assembly and with the current global economic downturn he says expectations are that there will be a reduction in funding made available to countries through the World Health Organisation.
“Though we are a small nation among some of the largest on the planet, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil and it is imperative that our voice is heard and not lost amongst the din of other countries.”
He said the Assembly meeting was also an opportunity to talk with other leaders about projects like the maintenance of Rarotonga hospital, the provision of health scholarships and potential work exchanges between countries.
On route back from Geneva, Minister Glassie will stop in New Zealand where he will meet in Auckland with Counties Manukau District Health Board to renew a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the referral of patients to Middlemore Hospital and where he will sign a new MOU sign with the Auckland District Health Board for patient referrals to Auckland Hospital.
He will also sign an MOU with Waitemata District Health Board for mental health service referrals that are currently overseen by Cook Islands psychiatrist Dr Francis Agnew, Service Clinical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist for Pacific Mental Health and Addiction Services at Waitemata.
Minister Glassie will then meet the Chief Executive of AUT School of Nursing to negotiate the establishment of nursing courses to be delivered here in Rarotonga at the University of the South Pacific and that are NZQA registered and accredited; and which Cook Islands nurses will be funded to attend.
In Wellington he will hold discussions with Ministry of Health officials regarding continued medical services funding to the Cook Islands; and has plans to meet with representatives of several embassies including Japan and China regarding professional development assistance for Cook Islands doctors and nurses.
On his way to Geneva, Minster Glassie will stop in Israel - a country widely regarded as a global leader in agricultural innovation - to attend the Agricultural Technology Exhibition, held every three years to showcase Israel and international agriculture technologies.
The exhibition attracts many Ministers of Agriculture, decision-makers, experts, agricultural associations, and thousands of international visitors and houses latest developments especially in the fields of irrigation, water management, arid zone agriculture, intensive greenhouse cultivation, development of new seed varieties, and organic and ecologically-oriented agriculture.
Minister Glassie will be accompanied to Geneva and New Zealand by the Secretary of Health, Tupou Faireka. The Minister will leave Rarotonga on 12 May 2012. He will spend approximately four days in Israel, five days in Geneva and four days in New Zealand before returning to the Cook Islands on 1 June 2012.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.