The 4th Meeting of Regulatory Authorities from the Western Pacific and South East Asian Regions was held in Hong Kong, 25 and 26 November, 2002, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
My involvement with the Conference came from a request from the Australian Nursing Council to facilitate a session on `Evaluation of Midwifery Legislation' as part of a preconference workshop to be held 23 November.
The Conference steering group comprised the Australian Nursing Council, the Nursing Council of New Zealand, and a representative of the host country planning group, Professor Thomas Wong, Chairman of the Nursing Council of Hong Kong. Ms Manbo Man, past President of the Hong Kong Midwives Association and now Chairperson of the Midwives Council of Hong Kong also attended. In all there were approximately 80 international delegates.
Building on earlier work
The theme `From Minimum Core Competencies to Standards of Practice--Issues and Challenges' was a continuation of the work that regulatory authority representatives had started at the last meeting held in Bangkok in 2000. At that time many of the core competencies for nurses in the Western Pacific and Asian Regions were identified and associated issues explored. The outcome of these deliberations was presented at the 5th International Conference on the Regulation of Nursing and Midwifery in June 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark (a report on this was published in International Midwifery 14(6): 10-11). The pre-conference workshop was designed to assist those countries who are still struggling to set up a regulatory authority.
Competencies and life long learning: evidence to policy
Dr. Naeema Al-Gasseer, Senior Nursing Scientist at WHO, Geneva delivered the keynote presentation `Competencies and Life Long Learning: Evidence to Policy'. Dr Al-Gasseer identified issues for nursing and midwifery that had formed part of an address by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Brundtland to the Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery in Geneva in 2002. The essence of the presentation was for midwives and nurses to:
* use a human fights based approach to the development of services
* forecast the need for future models of care without losing sight of the need to be dynamic and competent
* work in partnership with other health professionals.
Dr Al-Gasseer stated that the `responsibility to build a culture that supports competence for life-long learning lies with several stakeholders...