The Australian aid funded Pacific Islands Program (PIP) aims to increase access to surgical care by supporting strengthened clinical governance, and providing specialist education, training, and workforce development across 11 Pacific Island countries. Since 2016, RACS Global Health has deployed 178 specialist medical volunteers (including surgeons, anaesthetists, specialist nurses and other health workers) to support training and provide clinical mentorship to Pacific surgeons and other health workers.

To understand how the PIP has performed against its objectives, and to identify opportunities to ensure its future success, RACS Global Health commissioned a mid-term review of the program in May 2020. The findings of the review highlight the value of the PIP for Pacific surgeons and other health workers, as well as opportunities to increase PIP’s impact by extending training support to surgical nurses and increasing opportunities for online learning.

Key lessons

  • The PIP remains a relevant model to support specialised clinical service delivery and workforce capacity development.
  • Pacific surgeons highly value the PIP for the mentoring and skill development opportunities it provides.
  • Surgical workforce development is best done in tandem with nursing and allied health.
  • Responding to the needs of Pacific Island countries remains core to PIP’s approach.
  • Remote clinical support is an important tool for providing support between visits.

Read the review summary to find out about our ongoing work and key findings.