Work on assessing skills gap of health workers across the country continues with 30 selected officers comprising of Training Officers, Nurse Educators, Human Resource & Admin Officers, from the Ministry of Health’s Head Quarter Office, Honiara City Council and Guadalcanal Province undergoing a half day training, Wednesday this week, on how to carry out the assessment.
Following the training they will return to their work places and carry out the assessment. This cohort will be responsible to conduct the assessment at the Ministry of Health Headquarter office for National Public Health programs and corporate services including for health workforce in HCC and Guadalcanal province.
Health Permanent Secretary Mrs Pauline McNeil explained that the undertaking is very important as it will contribute towards achieving strategic objective #2 of the National Health Strategic Plan (2022 -2031) which states that systems and resources meet the needs and are responsibly managed.
“Moreover, the assessment will contribute to inform policy and strategic discussions towards the formulation of the health workforce strategy by having a workforce with the right set of skills will enable effective implementation of the NHSP 2022 -2031. Therefore, the first step is to conduct this skills gap assessment to better understand the current capacity and build from there to ensure that right skillsets working in the right places to better serve our people and their needs today and into the future as demand for health services increases””, explained Mrs McNeil.
She thanked all those involved in the assessment last year and the group trained this week stating that their hard work in this activity will make substantial contributions towards the Ministry’s efforts to better its services to the people.
Similar assessment has already been conducted for other provinces, Choiseul, Central Islands, Isabel, Makira/Ulawa, Western, Temotu and parts of Guadalcanal, last year along with the Health Facility and Readiness Service Availability (HFRSA) spot check.
The HFRSA spot check was a separate activity funded by the UNFPA however for efficiency, the skills gap assessment team were also part of the HFRSA travels to the provinces enabling the assessment to reach health workers in the remote and rural parts of the country.
On this note the Ministry of Health would like to acknowledge UNFPA for the support rendered in this regard.
The assessment is scheduled for completion by end of this month which will be followed by a data validation workshop.
The skills gap assessment for the Health workforce is led by the Ministry of Health’s Research Unit Team, Ms Freda Pitakaka Head of Research and Ms Lorraine Satorara, Chief Training Officer.