Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tongan gynaecologist and oncologist leads team of specialists to the Kingdom

Dr Michael Burling.

Recently the Pacific Medical Association deployed a team of specialist gynaecology and oncology practitioners from the Western Pacific Gynaecological Oncology Liaison Group (WPGOLG) to Tonga.

The team will work alongside the Ministry of Health to provide specialised medical care and services, led by WPGOLG Chair and PMA member, Dr Michael Burling.

Dr Burling is a seasoned Gynaecological Oncologist who was the first person of Pacific descent to complete the sub-specialisation training in gynaecological oncology at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

Dr Burling has dedicated his career to providing specialised care to women with gynaecological cancers and advocating for improved access to quality healthcare in developing regions. He shares the significance of the team’s visit to Tonga.

“Being a native Tongan, I hold a deep connection and sense of responsibility towards my community. It is with great enthusiasm that I return to Tonga as part of the WPGOLG visit, with the aim of not only providing specialised care but also working alongside local healthcare providers and the Ministry of Health to support strengthening the healthcare system in Tonga.”

Types of Gynaecologic Cancer

The WPGOLG has been operating in the Pacific for the past twelve years, under the objective of working in collaboration with healthcare stakeholders to enhance outcomes for women with gynecologic cancer and related conditions.

“Our visit to Tonga aims to assess the current level of care provided to women with gynaecological cancers in the region. We will be working closely with the national staff in Tonga to identify areas where we can provide support through education and surgical training to enhance the quality of care.”

“Another objective of our visit is to explore areas of research where we can contribute and facilitate advancements in gynecologic oncology. By collaborating with local researchers and healthcare providers, we aim to develop and support research projects that address the specific needs and challenges faced by women with gynaecological cancers in Tonga.”

The mobilisation of the gynaecological oncology team to the Kingdom of Tonga is made possible through the New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme NZMTS, maximising opportunities for capability building and strengthening of local health services.

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