Health Systems for Specialised Clinical Services

Working with PICs to improve the planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of specialised clinical services and the systems that support SCS at country level

15th to 18th August 2016 – Pacific Perioperative Standards Implementation Workshop, Suva

This workshop was organised to train operating room nurses to implement and maintain perioperative standards. SSCSiP worked closely with HE&LP and ACORN to deliver training.  The workshop was held from the 15th to 18th August, 2016 in Suva, Fiji. A total of 20 participants from 14 Pacific Island Countries were represented at the workshop. The nurses returned to their countries with a perioperative nursing text book, copies of the Pacific perioperative standards and practice audit tools. The nurses recommended that options for formal training in perioperative nursing be explored. They also wanted to establish a perioperative nursing organisation for the Pacific region.

21st March – 23rd March 2016 – SMBE NSW Biomedical Seminar

SSCSiP sponsored the Acting Principal Biomedical Officer of NHS Samoa, Ms Sunema Talapusi, to attend and present at the 2016 Society of Medical and Biological Engineering (SMBE) NSW Seminar in Bathurst, Australia. Ms Talapusi co-presented with the SSCSiP Biomedical Engineering Coordinator on User Care of Medical Equipment and its implementation in Samoa.

The presentation and a report on the seminar can be accessed here:

29th February – 21st March 2016 – Biomedical Technical Visit to Kiribati

Our biomedical technician is in Kiribati for 3 weeks to provide ongoing technical support to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. He continues to assist the biomedical department with repairs and service of equipment and mentor the local technicians. SSCSiP continues to provide biomedical technical assistance to the region.

22nd Feb to 7th March 2016 – Emergency Department Support Visit to the Solomon Islands

New ED leaders at the NRH, Honiara were provided with intensive strategic mentoring and planning sessions by Dr Georgina Philips (FACEM). The visit boosted the confidence and morale of ED staff. The new ED leaders have clear plans and timelines to develop triage and improve paediatric emergency care. The visit enhanced regional linkages for both EM and emergency nursing development opportunities. Future support visits were planned to consolidate local ED capacity and prevent ‘burn-out’. There would be on-going remote and face-to-face support from Australasian and Pacific EM experts to build a robust and sustainable ED team for the Solomon Islands.

16th – 23rd February 2016 – Biomedical Visit to Tuvalu

The SSCSiP Biomedical Coordinator visited Tuvalu for a week as part of its ongoing biomedical support and to follow-up on the technical visits made by our technician. Discussions were held on various topics, from continuation of biomedical support to Tuvalu to managing acquisition of equipment. A significant time was spent with the biomedical technician to update the biomedical inventory, and templates were provided to use for recording information on assets, equipment service and reporting to management.

February 2016 – Specialised Clinical Services Coordinator

The Tuvalu Ministry of Health has engaged a fulltime Specialised Clinical Services Coordinator (SCSC) based in Funafuti. He will be handing the islands inter-island referrals and overseas referrals of patients for treatment and also coordinating the Visiting Medical Teams (VMT) visits.

January 2016 – Donation of Anesthetic Machine

SSCSiP had coordinated the donation of an ULCO Anesthetic machine with accessories from Coffs Harbour to Kiribati. Thank you to the combined effort of the Biomedical Department of Coffs Harbour Health Campus, Vanguard Logistics Services (Aust), Shipping Agencies of Kiribati, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Kiribati.

HRH planning & development

Facilitating skill development and career enhancement for health workers by strengthening country level HRH planning and inter-country coordination, and by facilitating and maintaining linkages with academic and health training institutions

1st – 26th August 2016 – Endoscopy Training

Dr Samson Mesol and RN Fatele Vakafa completed 1 month Endoscopy Training at CWMH, Suva. Princess Margaret Hospital in Tuvalu has ordered endoscopy equipment and would like to set up a unit in Tuvalu. Having the capacity to provide endoscopy services at Princess Margaret Hospital would reduce the number of patients sent to Fiji for treatment.

26th – 5th August, 2016 – Primary Trauma Course for Upolu & Savaii, Samoa

Dr L’amour Hansell organised PTC training in Samoa. A PTC Instructors course was held prior to running the primary trauma training for the health workers both at Upolu and Savaii. Dr Desmond Aisi from PNG was funded to assist Dr L’amour and his local team in Samoa. A total of 7 new Instructors and 50 participants from Apia and Savaii successfully completed PTC training. National Health Services (NHS) has the capacity to run the training locally and have indicated that PTC training would be included in their yearly training plans.

6th June to 29th July 2016 – Perioperative Nurse Attachments

Operating theatre nurses Juvena Siataga from Foou hospital, Niue and Fatalele Vakafa from Princess Margaret hospital in Tuvalu have completed a 2 months practical perioperative attachment at Lautoka Hospital. The attachment had a structured program and the nurses were allocated senior supervisors. Training and up-skilling nurses in OT department support the Global Surgery 2030 Initiative to provide safe surgery to all.

24th – 28th May 2016 – Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN) conference

Kiribati Director of Nursing Ms Helen Murdoch was sponsored by ACORN to attend the 2016 conference in Hobart, Australia. She was joined by College of Nursing, FNU lecturer Ms Dolores Hill and SSCSiP Project Coordinator Ms Mabel Hazelman. The conference provided the opportunity to meet distinguished perioperative nurses. ACORN provided resources and manpower to assist in the perioperative workshop held in August 2015.

9th to 20th May 2016 – Union For International Cancer Control Fellowship Project

Oncology nurse Usha Devi of CWMH, Fiji attended the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA) annual congress in Cairns followed by observation attachment in Sydney. SSCSiP provided her with an allowance to support her during her attachment in Sydney. Contact was made with the Australian Cancer Society in NSW for continuing medical education for the nurses. Visits made to various oncology units in Sydney provided her with a better understanding of ways to improve oncology unit, and provide palliative care for cancer patients in Fiji.

2nd to 4th May 2016 – Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care (BASIC) training

The BASIC training was conducted in TTMH, Samoa on the 2nd to 4th May. The training was attended by 19 doctors and 15 nurses. SSCSiP funded Dr Elizabeth Bennett from FNU and PGD Anaesthesia student Dr Faamuamua Arasi to attend.

Professor Ross Freebairn, Ms. Sandra Bee, Dr Cynthia Bierl, Dr Elizabeth Bennett and local facilitators Dr Dina Tuitama and Dr. L’amour Hansell conducted the 3 days training.

BASIC training consisted of an assessment of the seriously ill, mechanical ventilation, shock management, resuscitation in both trauma and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), airway management and transportation of the critically ill. While in-country Ms Sandra Bee took the opportunity to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an additional 60 medical and nursing staff.

7th & 8th March 2016 – Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training

Three doctors from the region attended the ACLS training held in Suva, Fiji. They were Dr Rossana Pifileti from Samoa and Drs Pedical Togamae and Chanel Sabino from the Solomon Islands. The training was organized by the Emergency Medicine Team at FNU and MOH Fiji. The two days training included a review of the basic skills and knowledge of CPR and assessment and management of various cardiac conditions. Participants had to pass in the megacode scenario and the written test to receive ACLS certification.

6th to 20th March 2016 – Cardiac Nurse Attachment

Oncology nurse Usha Devi of CWMH, Fiji attended the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA) annual congress in Cairns followed by observation attachment in Sydney. SSCSiP provided her with an allowance to support her during her attachment in Sydney. Contact was made with the Australian Cancer Society in NSW for continuing medical education for the nurses. Visits made to various oncology units in Sydney provided her with a better understanding of ways to improve oncology unit, and provide palliative care for cancer patients in Fiji.

22nd February to 15th April 2016 – Perioperative Nurse Attachment

Operating Theatre Nurse from the Tuvalu Ministry of Health completed 2 months attachment at the Lautoka Hospital, Fiji. The attachment had a structured program to follow with allocated supervisors. Since returning to Tuvalu, OT nurse Taveve, worked with the Anaesthetist and Surgeon to develop OT policy and various OT forms which were presented to the hospital staff members at Princess Margaret Hospital during a CME session. The forms have been forwarded to management for endorsement after incorporating feedback. However, other changes in practice like initiating TIME OUT were immediately practiced.

15th to 19th February 2016 – Ultrasound Training Course

Three senior registrars of the Radiology Department from the Fiji Ministry of Health attended 5 days training in ultrasound at Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia. Dr Ketenilagi said that a priority would be to review and strengthen ultrasound protocols and clinical practice guidelines in ultrasound. Topics recommended for further training includes vascular, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics and interventional ultrasonography.

February to December 2016 – Long Term Training

Three doctors from the National Health Services (NHS), Samoa are currently enrolled at the Fiji National University. They are studying for their PGD in Child Care, PGD Anaesthesia and Year 3 of MMED Surgery program. This was in a response to an urgent request from NHS to train more doctors due to the shortage of specialist remaining in the public health services in Samoa.

Regional Coordination & Networking

Promoting coordination, alignment and quality of SCS support for the Pacific

5th – 9th September 2016 – Pacific Islands Surgeons Association (PISA) Conference

The PISA conference was held in Apia, Samoa this year with a theme of “Pacific Surgery – Directions and Indicators”. The program had a trainee day focusing on presentation skills, head and neck surgery, and common pathologies in the Pacific. The trainees were also given an opportunity to present and receive feedback in the main conference on their research projects and interesting cases. The main highlights were looking at surgical indicators and costs, cancer, trauma and humanitarian aid along with developing the Pacific health workforce.

26th – 27th August 2016 – Internal Medicine of the Pacific Conference (iMOP)

This year the two day conference followed the gastroscopy training in Suva, Fiji and had a focus on Infectious diseases including Zika, HIV, TB, Hep B and antibiotic resistance. A workshop on implementing treatment guidelines with the assistance of Prof. Moulds was conducted and financial aid is available for Pacific Island countries to develop their own guidelines. The Masters students presented their research projects and updates from RACP, IMSANZ and SSCSiP were provided on the support available for Pacific physicians. The CPD framework was endorsed and will be implemented next year.

23rd – 25th August 2016 – Pacific Society of Anaesthetists Conference

PSA had a smaller three day meeting prior to the world meeting held in Hong Kong. Training was conducted in ultrasound, airway, communication and end of life care along with the Masters students presentations. Presentations on anaesthetizing the paediatric patient and the sepsis guidelines were held. In the AGM there was agreement on the CPD framework and to get the society registered in Fiji.

8th – 9th August 2016 – Oral Health Pacific Islands Advisory group meeting (OPIA)

The Oral Health professionals had two days of meetings prior to and following the odontology conference in Fiji to register the dental society for the pacific and discuss continuing professional development, advisory papers and other support to Oral health professionals in the Pacific.

23rd – 25th June 2016 – Emergency Medicine Leadership training workshop

A leadership training workshop was held in Suva for the MMED trainees and recent graduates to upskill them for the leadership roles they will have in the future. This was a hands on training with lots of examples and participation. It was based on the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine leadership training guidelines.

4th to 5th April 2016 - Oceania Society of Mental Health Professionals Meeting (OSMHP)

A working group of Mental Health Professionals from Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu met to form the Oceania Society of Mental Health Professionals (OSMHP). This society will provide opportunities for networking, support and continuing professional development for all cadres of mental health professionals across the Pacific.

7th March 2016 – Site Visit to IMEC America

The SSCSiP Biomedical Engineering Coordinator visited the facility of IMEC America in US, which is a humanitarian organization that donates equipment, tools and supplies for health facilities, schools and farms to about 93 developing countries.

For more information visit their website:

SSCSiP is looking into coordinating with IMEC for responsible donations to the Pacific Island Countries health facilities.

21st – 24th February 2016 – OPIA deferment

The planned training from 21st to 24th on Special Needs Dentistry and the OPIA meeting has been deferred due to Tropical Cyclone Winston. New dates will be published once they become available. SSCSiP continues to provide assistance to Pacific Clinical Organisation.


Consists of Heads of Health and Heads of Clinical Services from the 14 PICS covered by the SSCSIP program

24th & 25th April 2016 – Stakeholders Reference Group (SRG) Meeting

The SSCSIPs SRG (Stakeholder Reference Group) was held on the 24th and 25th of April, 2016 in Suva which was held just before the SPC Heads of Health meeting (26th and 27th of April) at the same venue.

The theme of this year’s meeting was Specialized Clinical Services (SCS) in Totality; The Way forward included topics such as: the FNU and RACS contribution to SCS, Regional Initiatives, Natural disasters and the role of SCS during disasters, Biomedical, Nursing Specialization, the contribution of Pacific Clinical Organisations and Development Partners and the Way Forward.

The keynote speaker, the President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Professor Watters reported on the meeting of the World Health Assembly 68/15 which extended Universal Health Coverage to include Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care; directing a new focus on surgical services as an integral part of health care. The Assembly declared that “universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthetic care when needed” was a global priority.

2nd & 3rd March 2016 – Strategic Advisory Group (StAG) Meeting

On the 2nd and 3rd of March we had our quarterly Strategic Advisory Group Meeting (STAG) with our Clinical Advisors (Prof Eddie McCaig, Lord Viliami Tangi, Prof Satu Viali and A/Prof Sereima Bale). Dr Paula Vivili and Prof Rajat Gyaneshwar sent in apologies for this meeting.

Topics discuss included continuing support to Regional Clinical Organisations, Nursing Specialization, Strengthening ENT services in the Region, Perioperative Standards, Biomedical Service and the upcoming SSCSIPS SRG on April 24th and 25th in Suva, Fiji.

The STAG team also had the chance to meet and discuss with the DFAT Design team who were designing the Regional Clinical Services Strategy for the next phase of DFAT funding. The Design team heard positive comments from some PIC’s and individuals about the SSCSIP program and we thank DFAT for the opportunity for the SSCSIP program and team to be of assistance to the Pacific Island Countries.