About Us

Leading healthcare provider in the Cook Islands.

Te Marae Ora is the main healthcare provider in the Cook Islands. We are responsible for setting national health policy and managing the day-to-day delivery of health services. 

Health services are delivered through five directorates: Public Health, Oral Health, Primary Care, Hospital Health and Planning and Funding. The Secretary of Health and the Executive team lead the Ministry to achieve our vision for all people living in the Cook Islands to live healthy lives and achieve their aspirations.

Our Vision

All people living in the Cook Islands living healthier lives and achieving their aspirations

Our Mission

To provide accessible, affordable health care and equitable health services of the highest quality, by and for all, in order to improve the health status of people living in the Cook Islands

Our Values

Respect, People focused, Equity, Quality, Integrity, Accountability

Strategic Plans

The Health Road Map is a 20-year plan for the health sector. The vision of the Road Map is a ‘healthy and peaceful Cook Islands that values human rights and dignity through the provision of quality equitable health care and services based on the principles of primary health care and universal health coverage’. There are three focus areas to achieve this vision over 20 years, including strengthening health systems, health care service excellence, and public and private partnership.

The Health Strategic Plan operationalises the three key focus areas outlined in the National Health Road Map. The strategic plan sets out goals and measures for success across six different areas: health administration and management, community health services, hospital health services, allied health services, Pa Enua health services and health partners.

Health indicators

We measure our progress towards achieving our vision and strategic plans by setting high-level health indicators. We have 129 health indicators that draw from the National Sustainable Development Plan, Sustainable Development Goals, the Healthy Islands vision, and WHO Core Global Health Indicators.

Health indicators are used to complete annual performance reports to the Office of the Public Service Commissioner, Office of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, key development partners, stakeholders, and our communities. 

Statutory Framework

The Cook Islands health system is made up of eight pieces of legislation. The most significant are the Ministry of Health Act 2013 and the Public Health Act 2004. The legislative framework establishes the Secretary of Health as the Head of the Ministry, and key advisor to the Minister of Health on all matters pertaining to the Cook Islands health system and health care services.

Ministry of Health Act 2013

This Act sets out the Ministry's responsibilities to manage government-owned and operated health facilities, and our role to advise the Government and the Minister of Health. It sets out conditions to regulate health professionals, ensure professional oversight and quality controls are in place to protect providers and patients.
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COVID-19 Act 2020

The purpose of this Act is to implement measures to prevent, limit, or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its effects. The Act empowers Te Marae Ora to isolate and quarantine persons in order to mitigate the spread of disease. The Act also empowers the Minister of Health to issue restrictions to limit the spread of infection.
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Nurses Act 1986

This Act establishes the Nursing Council. It sets out the membership and functions of the council to regulate nursing professionals. The Act sets out requirements for nurses to register with the council and provide adequate care within the scope of practice.
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Food Act 1993

This Act controls the importation, processing, packaging, preparation, storage, transport, advertising, and sale of food in the Cook Islands. The Act establishes the Food Safety Advisory Committee and empowers health officers to issue a licence to sell food and monitor food safety practices to prevent a food-borne outbreak.
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Public Health Act 2004

The Act contains provisions for communicable disease control such as infectious disease management and environmental health issues such as water, waste and sanitation. The Act empowers delegated health officers to regulate, investigate and monitor compliance to prevent the spread of disease and protect population health.
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Medical and Dental Practices Act 1976

The Medical and Dental Council is established through this Act. The Act outlines the membership and functions of the council to ensure professional and ethical standards are upheld in medical and dental practice. It sets out the requirements for health professionals to practise in the Cook Islands and maintain competencies in their respective professions.
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Dental Act 1971

This Act outlines the practice of dentistry and requirements for oral health professionals working in the country. The Act sets out Te Marae Ora's plans to grow capacity in various areas of dentistry such as dental surgery, dental technology, and dental hygiene.
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Tobacco Products Control Act 2007

This Act sets out conditions and restrictions on the sale of tobacco products to those aged below 18 years; signage and advertising at point of sale; as well as restrictions on quantities of tobacco products sold.
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