On March 19 and 20th, high level representatives from health ministries and academic institutions came together in Bridgetown, Barbados to discuss Human Resources for Health (HRH) development strategy for the Caribbean.
The Road Map that was considered at this meeting proposes a five-year framework for addressing governance and education advancements to improve the management and training of health professionals, so that they be in a favorable position to deal with the immediate and longer term challenges facing the Caribbean health system.
Defining specific milestones of progress between 2012 and 2017, the Road Map for HRH Development aims to galvanize cooperation among regional institutions and to support national efforts that will strengthen primary care capacities and public health competencies of the workforce and strengthen the steering role of the HRH and planning units.
In the Caribbean region, the number of people living longer is expanding while the lifespan itself is lengthening. This population trend challenges the health care system and the workforce in particular, to shift its mode of care to accommodate longer-term needs with a holistic approach. At the same time, the Caribbean is experiencing a growing burden of non-communicable diseases, which also requires a longer-term care approach, and a stronger emphasis on preventative care and education outreach. The needs of the population call for a patient-centered care approach and improved client-provider relationships that can sustain long-term support. In addition, with gaps in the numbers of human resources available, these needs necessitate strong HRH management skills to retain skilled workers, to maximize productivity and to ensure that working conditions promote the best of quality care.
With political support and strong technical partnerships, the five-year Road Map provides a framework that will advance the countries in achieving the CCH III HRH objectives and will support the countries in their aims to expand access quality care to the whole population.