The Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services in the Pacific Program (better known in the Pacific as SSCSiP) was established in 2010, with funding support from the Australian government, in response to Pacific Island Country’s request for support towards strengthening their capacity to plan, manage, and improve their access to, specialised clinical services. Part of the mandate of the SSCSiP program also involved strengthening coordination of the support provided for specialised clinical services in the region.

At the 2015 SSCSiP Stakeholder Reference Group Meeting, an annual meeting of Pacific heads of health and heads of clinical services, a resolution was endorsed by PICs for SSCSiP “to   explore the feasibility of regional or sub-regional mechanisms to address the specialised clinical needs of PICs. The Pacific Eye Institute was pointed out as a good example of a regional mechanism that has made a big difference to PIC’s capacity to manage their eye services, and specific reference to pathology, ENT and radiology were made, as potential areas that can benefit from similar regional cooperation.

In response to the request made by PICs, the SSCSiP program convened the Pacific ENT Technical Advisory Group (PENT-TAG) meeting to explore opportunities for strengthening ENT services in the Pacific.  The PENT-TAG consisted of members of the SSCSiP clinical advisory group, RACS-PIP team, ENT specialists, ENT Nurse and audiologist to the Pacific.

The PENT-TAG looked at the burden of ENT disorders in the Pacific and explored potential strategies for strengthening PIC’s capacity to manage ENT disorders. A plan for strengthening ENT services in the Pacific was developed which will be presented at the 2016 SSCSiP Stakeholder Reference Group meeting.