ICN CEO calls new organisation for heads of nursing in the Pacific region a “powerful voice for nursing”

14 February 2020

Howard Catton has attended the inaugural meeting of the Pacific Heads of Nursing (PHoN) in Nadi, Fiji, where he spoke about the vital role of nurses in achieving the objectives of the global health agenda, including Universal Health Coverage.

The PHoN is a new organisation that aims to provide executive-level oversight for regional nursing functions for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, including a ‘policy advisory’ and technical role to inform nursing decisions for the region. Topics discussed in the three-day meeting included workforce issues, health emergencies, immunisation and vaccines, preventable diseases, maternal and child health, noncommunicable diseases, Universal Health Coverage and primary health care, nurse education and research in the Pacific, and nursing regulation.

In his keynote address Mr Catton said: “I congratulate all involved in making PHoN happen. It will provide a valuable arena for senior nurses to discuss issues of strategic importance and be a powerful voice for nursing in the Pacific region.”

“Above all it is part of a worldwide push from the global nursing community to build a legacy from 2020, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, to advance the profession in every region. We need to bring together government, regulators, educators and our associations to prioritise, plan and prepare for a future where nurses are not only the heart of healthcare but its acknowledged and respected leaders. PhoN is well positioned to provide the necessary leadership for this vision in this region, and other regions may wish to learn from its model.”

After the PHoN meeting there was a special Nursing Now event, attended by ICN, opened by Nursing Now Co-Chair Lord Nigel Crisp. It focused on discussions around planning new activities for the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, as well as delivering on the legacy of Nursing Now and 2020.

HC Fiji