In a courtesy meeting yesterday morning Capt. Henry Kim, commander of the Pacific Partnership Mission to the Solomon Islands, and Mrs. Pauline McNeil, Health Permanent Secretary, both highlighted the need for continued partnership and collaboration for better health care service for Solomon Islanders.

While doing so, Mrs. McNeil thanked the government and people of the United States of America for the Pacific Partnership initiative that enabled the mission to the Solomon Islands including the governments of Japan and Australia that also have their personnel with the visiting team.

“Solomon Islands stands to benefit tremendously from the mission as it will contribute significantly towards the enhancement of the level of health care services, increase the number of evaluated and treated patients with its side-by-side operations on board Sea Mercy, the National Referral Hospital, and scheduled tours to Malaita and Western Provinces, thereby reducing the specialist referral costs of the Ministry of Health with the delivery of important health- care services across our islands.

“More important for us is the side-by-side operations where our medical workers will work alongside your team in treating and caring for the patients. A wonderful opportunity for us to learn and gain from the experience and expertise that you bring which will surely have a long-lasting impact even after the mission leave”, said Mrs. McNeil.

She added that while the Ministry would have opted for the visiting team to visit all the provinces, the work schedule and timing to meet demand from the region are understandable.

“Nevertheless, this is the very reason why the need for us to continue working closely with each other to explore more opportunities for similar visits in the future. Overall thank you Capt. Kim and your team for the wonderful work that you will be doing and the ministry wishes you well during your stay”, said Mrs. McNeil.

In response Capt. Kim said that the Pacific Partnership Mission is pleased to return to the Solomon Islands and this round with Sea Mercy, the World’s largest floating hospital with over 700 professionals to once again serve the health needs of the country but also in other sectors as well.

“We hope that our time in the Solomon Islands will make a great impact and that we too can benefit from the knowledge and skills that your medical team will also share with us, so we will also learn from each other and grow together. We look forward to returning in the near future”, highlighted Capt. Kim.

Capt. Kim also used the opportunity to acknowledge Mrs. McNeil for her leadership role, especially in such an important sector that led the fight against COVID-19 in the past two years and now the current outbreak of flu along with the many challenges that come with women in a leadership position.

“Impressive indeed and I wish you well as you continue with your important role but more so, that your role also encourages other women to strive towards being in decision making positions”.

The courtesy meeting was also attended by Russell M. Comeau Charge D'Affaires of the United States Embassy in Solomon Islands officials from the Pacific Partnership Mission, Sea Mercy floating hospital and and from the MHMS Senior Executive Management and WHO Country Representative Dr. Sobel Howard.

Source: Joint Press Release