Regional Health Meetings in the Pacific and their Impact on Health Governance

Joel Negin, Chris Morgan, and Rob Condon

As a result of the increased number of regional health meetings in the Pacific region, senior health professionals in the Pacific have expressed concern about the costs, effectiveness and legitimacy of these gatherings. Our review of health meetings in the Pacific identified 52 meetings that take place as regular gatherings of regional governance mechanisms and 14 one-off meetings in a 12 month period. Stakeholder interviews revealed that while some are effective forums for information sharing, the proliferation of health meetings has added to workloads and some have unhelpfully mixed mandates, little continuity of staff attendance, and duplicate areas of focus with other governance mechanisms. Consolidation of some meetings is encouraged and greater efforts are needed at ensuring Pacific participation and ownership. Governance mechanisms that provide direct in-country support may be preferable to regional approaches.