The Patient Referral Policy ultimately provides objectives and guidelines for transfers within the Cook Islands and for the overseas referral system.

Section 13 of the Ministry of Health Act 2013 (“the Act”) authorises the Ministry of Health (“the Ministry”) to manage and implement schemes for the referral of eligible patients for transfer for treatment within the Cook Islands or for specialised treatment outside the Cook Islands.

Section 13(4) sets out the grounds for eligibility for approved schemes for the referral of patients. Section 8 of the Act sets out the responsibilities and powers of the Head of Ministry which include developing rules, operating procedures, and guidelines in accordance with the Act.

Section 7 of the Act provides for the general powers of the in particular section 7(3) authorises the Ministry to require from the patient payment or reimbursement of the costs of health services.

Section 33(1) of the Act authorises the creation of forms for use by the Ministry in administering its functions.

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