The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) successfully held its National Budget and Planning Workshop 2020 last week in Honiara with the theme, Iumi Togeda for Health Services Delivery.
The two days’ workshop was purposely to facilitate a shared understanding of the strategic interventions needed to achieve the core indicators in the MHMS National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2021 and improve national programmes and understanding of roles and responsibilities when integrating and coordinating with each other at a national and provincial level. The workshop also aims for timely submission of a completed draft Annual Operational Plan (AOP).
In her keynote address to open the workshop, MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil explained the significance of the theme. “This year’s theme was specifically chosen to reflect the urgent need for enhanced solidarity, unity and cooperation within the health sector and to rethink its strategies to ensure effective and efficient delivery of health services to the people in light of the declining domestic revenue and external support due to COVID-19 global pandemic”.
“COVID-19 has affected the implementation of the Ministry’s 2020 Annual Operational Plan (AOP) and delivery of services as the Ministry is at the forefront of national efforts to protect the country from the deadly virus. Nevertheless I would like to sincerely acknowledge the commitment and dedication of health sector leaders, health professionals and workers in protecting the country against the deadly virus and at the same time ensuring that all other health services remains functional”, stated Mrs. McNeil.
She explained that the challenges experienced this year are new realities the health sector will need to deal with however they also come with opportunities to rethink of new ways in which health can maximize gains with its limited and stretched out resources to continue serving the health needs of the country.
“This is the key consideration of this two days’ workshop when we deliberate on our 2021 planning and budgeting. By the end of the workshop an integrated program through sharing of human resources and costs to deliver joint AOPs, clear demarcation of national and provincial roles and responsibilities and an enhanced focus on core indicators and basic health services amidst COVID-19 should be achieved”, stated Mrs. McNeil.
More than 100 participants attended the two days’ workshop, which includes health sector leaders, health professionals and workers both at the national and provincial level including health development and donor partners.