Human resources for health

South Pacific Situation Summary

Since the 1995 Yanuca Island Declaration, subsequent meetings of the Pacific Region Ministers of Health have made a commitment to address human resources for health issues. The 2001 Madang Commitment and the 2007 Vanuatu Meeting recognized the importance of mid-level practitioners in providing basic primary health care services to rural, remote and sparsely populated Pacific Island communities.

The 2005 Samoa Commitment recognized the loss of skilled health personnel (SHP) through migration in the Pacific Islands, as serious implications for the health of people in the Pacific. The meeting recommended the establishment of a regional mechanism to facilitate the sharing of skilled health personnel, expertise and training resources including twinning arrangements among Pacific Island Countries.

The Ministers of Health for PICs have since committed themselves and their governments to take strategic measures to strengthen their national health workforce capacities and to address the varied health workforce issues and challenges that their countries face.

The key actions the ministers have agreed to undertake include, among others: collation and use of reliable HRH data, evidence and information to inform policy, planning and decision-making; strengthen effective health workforce planning and management; including managing the migration of skilled health personnel; retention of health workers and improved performance through better remunerations and use of incentives; and scaling up the education and training of health workers to meet health workforce shortages.