Health Workforce Centre for Jamaica


The Ministry of Health partnered with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Canada’s Dalhousie University to hold a high level meeting to discuss the establishment of a Centre for Health Workforce Planning and Research in Jamaica.
The discussions took place at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday (July 29). It is one of the steps being taken toward the development of the Centre, which is expected to be operational by February, 2010.
Other steps include an advisory committee workshop, which will define the structure and operations of the Centre, its management and leadership, funding strategies and initial activities; and an engagement workshop for the community of health professionals, which will inform and engage stakeholders about the Centre’s vision and purpose and the process and timeline for its development.
The Centre will be funded by PAHO and the International Affairs Directorate, Health Canada Biennial Work Plan. It will provide human resources in health (HRH) evidence for decision-makers, researchers, health care providers and other stakeholders at national, regional and municipal levels.
It will also provide a forum for collaboration, knowledge sharing, building of capacity for evidence-based health systems and HRH planning, management, networking, and building alliances across sectors.
Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who announced the establishment of the Centre during his Sectoral presentation in Parliament on July 15, thanked PAHO and Health Canada for choosing Jamaica for the Centre.
“I believe it represents an important development, not just for Jamaica but also for the Caribbean region for evidence-based planning and development of human resources in health,” he said.
He noted that in terms of human resources in health, Jamaica needs to augment the number of providers available for the production of health services; improve the technical efficiency of health workers; improve geographical and institutional coverage; and increase the capacity of its training institutions to train more health workers.
“I am happy to note that the Centre will bring together country leaders, institutions, researchers and policy makers from sectors of health, education, finance and labour with the common goal of providing quality health care to all people through a well-trained, well-placed and motivated workforce,” Mr. Spencer also noted.
The Minister added that he wants the Centre to become a model for both the developed and developing world in health workforce planning and development.
“It is my hope that the Centre will provide leadership and technical expertise for the formulation of a comprehensive national strategy for the health workforce, including the development of a database and use of trained volunteers,” he said.

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