Representatives of the five-country Asia Network (Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam) met in conjunction with the Asian-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health conference in Cebu, the Philippines 8-11 November 2011. They reviewed results of the pilot test developed at their August 2011 meeting, which was conducted in at least one medical school, one nursing school and one public health school. They have now met three times since forming the network at a consultative meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in April 2011, in order to develop a common protocol and tools for a multi-country survey to analyze the current situation for health profession education.
At a plenary session, Asia Network representatives (joined by observers from Cambodia and Japan) committed to implementing professional education reform and worked on finalizing the survey tools. They shared each country’s experiences thus far and agreed on future actions. The Cebu conference also allowed them to specifically review the current human resources for health situations, including education that supports universal health coverage. They indicated that universal health coverage ideology has gained significant momentum, and that human resource for health education and management is the key component to achieve the goal of providing people equitable access to health care.
Three specific objectives of the Asia Network meeting were:
• To learn from the results of pilots in medical/nursing/public health schools in order to improve and finalize the 3 different tools ready for wide scale assessment by country partners
• Given different country contexts, to discuss and decide on the sampling methods and sample size
• To discuss regional activities, including situation analysis, timeline, budget and communications
The Thai team will take on a coordinating role and will reconcile all comments and shape tools into two components: the core questions and specific components for different countries
Asia Network participants went on field trips to three different institutes: the Southwestern University College of Medicine, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and Lapu-Lapu City Health Office. The photo shows the group visiting the Southwestern University College of Medicine, which uses traditional and integrated teaching methods.
The Network will next meet during the Prince Mahidol Award Conference at the end of January 2012, to address and agree upon regional activities and a concrete action plan for mobilizing and strengthening the task-based network. The next regional situation analysis survey workshop in India, tentatively in April 2012, will be held to report results of national assessments and to share different country movements.