Review of the National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020 in progress

Despite ongoing efforts against COVID-19 global pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) remains committed to ensuring continuation of its core business with the review of the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) 2016-2020 that is in progress. The NHSP has been given extension of one year thus the review at the third quarter of 2020.

The Strategy is the overarching health framework of the government identifying how MHMS delivers on a range of substantive policies relating to business of health including the government’s DCGA policy priorities in health over the years.

It defines MHMS’s overall goal, vision and mission and outlines the organizational policy priorities, required to improve the Ministry’s internal functions and operations so that it is better able to achieve the substantive policies for Solomon Islanders, which is central to fulfilling MHMS vision statement of a healthy, happy and productive Solomon Islands.

MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil explains the rationale behind the review. “Reviewing work done and the progresses made against the strategy is to identify achievements and progresses in health care delivery to the population and to inform and recommend areas of enhancement and focus for the development of the next Strategic Plan 2022 -2026”.

She further explains that the review is important, as it will set a new direction for delivery of health services in the country for the next five years. Following this review, a new National Health Strategic Plan 2022 -2026 will be developed taking on the recommendations and lessons learnt from this review.

“Therefore, the new plan should be able to reflect the particular circumstance and complexities of Solomon Islands, based on available evidences and have wide engagement amongst stakeholders in the development process including communications and implementation and monitoring mechanism in place to track progress against goals and targets and inform corrective actions if needed”.

“MHMS appreciates the cooperation of individuals and organizations who have been consulted in the past weeks and we look forward to the cooperation of those who will be consulted in the weeks ahead. The Ministry is also grateful towards the support of our donors and partners, the government of Australia and World Health Organization (WHO) for both the financial and technical assistance rendered”, stated Mrs. McNeil.

The review involves desk review of relevant health documents and consultations with the MHMS Senior Executives, Head of Departments, Programme Managers, Provincial Health Directors, government agencies, development partners, Faith based Organizations, NGOs and community focus groups.

The review team is led and supported by Manager of the Partnership Coordination Unit, MHMS Policy and Planning Department Ms Louisa Fakaia and Ms Julie Bowen, DFAT team leader in the MHMS and comprised of three local consultants in country and two internationals who are working remotely from Australia.

The review of the NHSP is scheduled for completion in November 2020.