Alliance Members Platform - Taking the HRH Agenda Forward - Post Forum Session
The Post Forum Session of the Alliance members platform was an opportunity for Alliance members to reflect and comment on discussions emerging from the Second Global Forum for Human Resources for Health. In the history of the Alliance this was the first opportunity for the members of the Alliance to come together at a Pre and Post forum session exclusively dedicated to its members.
"This forum was an important event for taking HRH agenda forward, and highlighting this area's role in reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015," said Dr Masato Mugitani, Chair of the Alliance. "Everyone - whoever they are, and wherever they live - is entitled to access to a skilled, and motivated health worker. The Outcome Statement of the Second Global Forum (Outcome Statement) provides a platform for the various parties to move forward, to promise and remain committed to the global health workforce."
Fiona Campbell, Head of Policy at Merlin, reflected on the forum from her organization's perspective. She felt that while the event generated many positive messages, there were, however, elements missing. On a positive note, it certainly formed a platform for those motivated to address the health workforce crisis to meet, and form stronger links together. Ms Campbell also praised the sense of diversity among participants; but it was felt their knowledge-sharing across the various parties was absent from discussions. "Bangkok must be more than Kampala," said Ms Campbell, "and maybe we now need a campaign to place HRH on the global agenda. "Through working together, it is hoped that the Forum provided the concrete steps to push the issue further forward over the next few years."
Dr. Brook Baker, Professor at Northeastern University, led the members to group work where discussions were based on five key issues related to Human resources for Health coming out from the Outcome Statement. Topics included:
- Supply of health workers - health workforce education/pre-service training scale-up and transformation.
- Skills mix, distribution, and retention.
- Skills mix and effective referral systems.
- Equitable health worker distribution and service delivery.
- Retention system.
- Code of Practice - brain drain/circulation and mentoring the Code of Practice.
- Quality performance and the positive work environments for health workers.
- Investing for results:
- Global-and country-level resource needs.
- Additionality (reduction of domestic funding in response to donor funding)
- Leveraging Global Health Initiatives re HRH/HSS
Recommendations for each specific area were presented following the group work (see related links). Following this, members were given an opportunity to raise questions and comments on the role and the leadership of the Alliance. The need for a global HRH campaign was highlighted here very strongly.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance, acknowledged that it was essential for dialogue generated from the forum in Bangkok to continue between its members. "If we all want to be effective, we need to work together," said Dr Sheikh. "The Alliance began with members, and it will end with members; it isn't one particular constituency, it's a sum of all and we need to take a collective position. We can’t run away from the fact that the Alliance is everyone. And now we can reflect on the role of the secretariat. It is the members that identify the agenda and the secretariat takes it forward. Lets look into that context. So maybe the secretariat can become the voice of all.".