Health workforce

Nursing & Midwifery and Universal Health Coverage

Princess Muna Al-Hussein
Irene R Lengui/L’IV Com Sarl

HRH Muna Al-Hussein of Jordan presides over the 6th Global Forum for Government and Midwifery Officers

14-15 May 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

The 6th Global Forum for Government and Midwifery Officers successfully concluded in Geneva yesterday, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussein of Jordan and other senior Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery officers and representatives from key nursing and midwifery agencies. This year’s Forum deliberated on how best the nursing and midwifery workforce can contribute towards universal health coverage efforts in three distinct themes – leadership and management, education and collaboration.

Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussein of Jordan, a champion of nursing and midwifery, opened the high level Forum and participated with keen interest in all sessions of the Forum. Noting that health workforce regulation remains a challenge in most developing countries, she called for institutionalizing nursing and midwifery regulation to ensuring the delivery of competent care to communities. She also emphasized the need for “Government chief nursing & midwifery officers, educational institutions, WHO collaborating centres for nursing and midwifery and professional associations to work together and adopt a strategic approach to developing the leadership capabilities of nurses and midwives to support universal health coverage.”

Dr. Alwan- Regional Director, WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, reminded the participants of the strategies to be adopted and the importance of networking and collaboration in strengthening nursing and midwifery. These strategies include: strengthening nurses’ and midwives’ involvement in policy-making; institutionalizing a regulatory system for both nursing and midwifery education and practice; developing national strategic plans for nursing and midwifery; improving pre-service nursing/midwifery education; establishing systems for continuous professional development; building up management and leadership capabilities of nurse/midwife leaders to strengthen the delivery of services; and developing evidence-based education and practice.

The Forum also provided an opportunity to reflect on achievements since the last forum in 2012 which focused on noncommunicable diseases. The Forum concluded with a Forum statement which commits government Chief nursing and midwifery Officers to:

Leadership and management

  • Build political support at the highest level to ensure continuity in the pursuit of universal health coverage.
  • Formulate nursing and midwifery policies that encapsulate the vision for Universal Health Coverage to ensure integrated people-centred services.
  • Develop and or strengthen policies for improving the quality of education and training, recruitment, retention and deployment.
  • Develop evidence policies for effective and efficient [of the nursing and midwifery workforce management.

Education and training

  • Support educational institutions to develop and implement curricula that takes into account the quantity, quality and relevance of the nursing and midwifery workforce to meet the local and national health changing needs.
  • Build and sustain the technical capacity to ensure quality education and practice through continuing professional development programmes.
  • Work and support partners’ effort to assess the gap between the need for a health workforce, actual supply , geographical distribution (stock, skills mix and competencies) and the population’s demand for health services.

Collaborative partnerships

  • Identify key partners including service user to support and build the capacity of the nursing and midwifery workforce to contribute to universal health coverage.
  • Develop and support [nursing and midwifery] interventions that lead to improve access to health care services. Develop strategies that support the creation of links between public, non-governmental and private sector to minimize barriers of access to health services in rural and remote or hard to reach areas.

A formal meeting report and forum statement will be made available shortly

Share