JIS News

The Ministry of Health held a high level meeting on Wednesday (July 29) to start discussions, with key stakeholders, on the establishment of a Centre for Health Workforce Planning and Research.
The meeting, at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, was held in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Dalhousie University in Canada. It is one of several steps being taken toward the development of the Centre, expected to be operational by next February.
Other steps include: an advisory committee workshop to 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 its 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, which will also 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 create a forum for collaboration, knowledge sharing, building of capacity for evidence-based health systems and HRH planning, management and networking and building alliances across sectors, within the Caribbean region and beyond.
Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who first announced the Centre during the Sectoral Debate in Gordon House, 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 the 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 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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