The College's Pacific Islands Program
provides specialist surgical and medical services, education and
training to local surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health
workers in 11 Pacific countries.
20th Anniversary of the Pacific Islands Program
The College celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Pacific
Islands Program this year. Since its launch in 1995, the program
has changed and adapted over the years in response to the changing
needs and priorities in each Pacific country. What originated as a
program focused on service provision by visiting clincal teams has
evolved to provide education and capacity building across the
region to address priorities identified by Pacific surgeons and
medical leaders. Full details are available in the April
2015 edition of Surgical News.
What we do
The Pacific Islands Program works in partnership with Ministries
of Health and hospitals in 11 Pacific countries to support the
delivery of specialist clinical services; deliver education,
training and capacity development opportunities; and promote
international cooperation and exchange.
The following countries are included in the program: the Cook
Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru,
Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Specialist Medical and Surgical Services
Through the Pacific Islands Program, visiting clinical teams
provide services across a range of medical specialties. In
addition to providing much needed services, each team focuses on
providing clinical mentoring and education to Pacific
medical staff to strengthen the capacity of local health
Since 1995 volunteers have provided over 83,000 patients with
specialist consultation and non-surgical treatment and advice, and
approximately 22,000 patients have been provided with life-changing
surgical procedures through the program.
Details of upcoming visits can be found in the
international visit schedule.
Education and Training
An important priority of the Pacific Islands Program is the
provision of training courses, workshops, conferences and training
attachments for surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and other health
professionals working in the region.
The program is supporting education and training in the region
- Training courses and workshops
- Train-the-trainer courses
- Support for participants to attend courses, including
accommodation and international travel where courses are
unavailable in a participant's home country
Since 1995, the Program has delivered over 200 training
activities across the Pacific, with recorded attendances by more
than 2,700 Pacific medical personnel.
Education and training activities supported by the program
The Rowan Nicks Pacific Islands Scholarship is offered annually
to surgeons who are citizens of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati,
Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New
Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu or Vanuatu. The Rowan
Nicks Scholarships are directed at surgeons
who demonstrate the necessary qualities to become
leaders in their home countries. Please see the
Rowan Nicks Scholarship page for application details.
Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who
volunteer with the Pacific Islands Program are also able to
nominate local surgeons or other health professionals to receive
Surgeons International Award.
The College acknowledges the generous support of Dr John Kearney
and Mrs Alison Kearney who have provided a scholarship to support
Dr Padwick Gallen (Micronesia) to complete an additional four
years of study in Ophthalmology at the Pacific Eye Institute in
- Burns management workshops
- ENT nurse training workshops
- Ponseti (clubfoot treatment) workshops
- Pain management workshops
- Childbirth & infant care workshops
The College has provided specialist clinical services, education
and capacity development opportunities in the Western
Pacific region through the Pacific Islands Program since 1995. The
program is supported by the Australian Government and
works in partnership with national counterparts including health
professionals and hospitals to assist Pacific Ministries of Health
to improve the health of their populations.
The Pacific Islands Program is supported
by the Australian Government and managed by the
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
Who we work with
Pacific Ministries of Health and
The program collaborates closely with individual Ministries of
Health and hospitals to ensure services provided
support national health priorities and plans for workforce
Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services in the
Strengthening Specialised Clinical
Services in the Pacific (SSCSiP) is a Fiji based Australian
Government-funded initiative created to support Pacific nations
to plan for, access, host and evaluate specialised clinical
services; and strengthen health worker skills, capacity and
capability to meet clinical service needs.
The College works closely with SSCSiP to support the effective
delivery of services in the region. Close consultation with the
SSCSiP is integral to ensuring that services delivered through the
Pacific Islands Program support individual Ministry of Health plans
for development and complement services offered by other providers
in the region.
Pacific Islands Surgeons Association
Pacific Islands Surgeons Association (PISA) was formed in
Rarotonga in 2003 and is made up of professional surgeons from
Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of
Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The aim of the association is to promote and represent the practice
of surgery, and surgeons, in the Pacific region.
The Pacific Islands Program also supports the work of the Laloma
Foundation which works to produce sustainable research programs in
the Solomon Islands, share clinical and teaching resources through
the delivery of specialist support programs and to promote surgical
training for basic health care in developing countries.
Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Nurse Training
In conjunction with the Australian Government-funded ENT
clinical visits delivered under the Pacific Islands Program, annual
nurse training workshops have been delivered in Vanuatu since
2002. The ENT Nurse Training Fund was established by Dr Perry
Burstin in 2005 to support the continued education and training
needs of Ni-van ENT nurse practitioners. The workshops aim
to strengthen nurses' skills leading to improved
patient triage and management of surgical patients. The program is
currently working to support a strong cohort of skilled nurses from
Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Nauru and Kiribati. Suitable
candidates from other Pacific nations are also welcome to
Clinical Visit Partners
The Pacific Islands Program works with the following partners to
deliver clinical visits:
Our Partners and Supporters
of Partners and Supporters (PDF 219 KB) - Updated November
How can you help?
RACS Global Health provides vital specialist medical education,
training and services to countries in need in the Asia-Pacific
region. Make an online
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Fax: +61 3 9249 1236
Project Director - Dr Kiki Maoate FRACS
Senior Project Officer - Lachlan Butcher
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1121
Project Support Officer - Natalia Hepp
Telephone: +61 3 9276 7411
Program Manager - Lito de Silva
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1233
External Affairs Director - Daliah Moss
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1276