Home Press Releases Jamaica, Philippines broker partnership to boost human resources for health

Jamaica, Philippines broker partnership to boost human resources for health

  •  Inks joint communique on sidelines of WHA77

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Saturday, June 1, 2024: Jamaica and the Philippines have signed a communique signaling a clear intent to collaborate in order to address prevailing challenges to human resources for health (HRH).

The agreement was inked on May 30 by Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP, Minister of Health and Wellness, Jamaica; and Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, Secretary of Health of the Republic of the Philippines, following their meeting on May

28, within the margins of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) to discuss and explore new opportunities between the two countries to solve the HRH crisis.

Minister Tufton led the Jamaica delegation – including Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Simone Spence, Director, Health Promotion and Protection Branch; Ms. Patricia Ingram-Martin, Chief Nursing Officer; Mr. Howard Lynch, Chief Technical Director, Policy Planning and Development; and Ms. Rowena Palmer, Director, International Cooperation in Health – to WHA77.

The communique sees both countries committing to the pursuit of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance cooperation for conclusion by September 2024.

 The MOU is to explore, among other things, the expansion of training of health care workers in Jamaica, for which the Republic of the Philippines has the “scope and the capacity”, including the possible exchange of faculty members, particularly from the Republic of the Philippines to medical facilities and/or training institutions in Jamaica.

 Jamaica has also put on the table potential areas for collaboration to include biotechnology, medical equipment repair, epidemiology, healthcare management, training of nurses, the rotation of clinicians between both countries, and the sharing of experiences on Jamaica’s primary healthcare model.

The two countries are also to explore a Government-to-Government arrangement for the recruitment of nurses, in response to the shortage of specialist nurses in Jamaica. In addition, an invitation has been extended by Dr. Herbosa to Dr. Tuf

ton to undertake a working visit to the Republic of the Philippines. Minister Tufton has extended a similar invitation to Dr. Herbosa.

The communique comes against the background of the continued exodus of health care workers, due to a variety of push and pull factors, including better salaries and working conditions.

Dr. Tufton has applauded the Philippines on their willingness to collaborate in this area, attention to which he said is critical to any long-term sustained and successful pandemic preparedness response and equity in the delivery of health care.

“I am hoping it will be an example for many others to follow. In the first instance, it is driven by a country that is a major supplier, with significant infrastructure and capacity to train and a major supplier of healthcare workers to the world and a willingness to embrace what we have discussed here, which is cooperation and partnership,” he said.

“The specifics of this will be worked out but what we are signing here today is an intent to dialogue around sharing… Some of our people will go to Philippines to train within their institutions and do their clinical rotation and that will hopefully lead to

other things, not just in nursing or medicine, but in other areas – management of healthcare facilities biotechnology, all the critical components that can advance the interest of healthcare response for the people,” Dr. Tufton added.

“I say salute to you (Dr. Herbosa) and your willingness to engage in this,” he said further.