April 4th WHO webinar “Building the workforce better ­ investing in competence based health worker education towards the achievement of universal health coverage"

9 April, 2022

I attended this WHO world health worker webinar and found it interesting. the webinar as it discussed ways of expanding roles of health workers with competency based trainings.

[Note from HIFA moderator, Neil PW: Thanks Richard for sharing your observations of this webinar. A recording of the webinar will soon be available on the Global Health Workforce Network Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi6xUB9_fL7zzRlai6-UvUg ]

Here some notes:

WHO Webinar “Building the workforce better - investing in competence based health worker educcation towards the achievement of universal health coverage”

60% of Governments spends are on health staff. Defining health staff competences adds rigour to the management of primary health care. Competence training needs to be evidence based and the evidence has to be available to the syllabus designers, trainers and trainees.

If primary care staff have inadequate skills, citizens bypass primary care staff to utilize secondary and tertiary care first. The WHO competence based education is

- Education orientated

- Rooted in evidence

- Has tools for aiding the local design of education and development

- Has an effective approach to educational design

- Is Socially accountable and

- Addresses quality improvement

Organizations define the tasks that staff have to perform and then assess he skills that are necessary for the staff to perform the tasks. If suitable persons are identified even non formally qualified staff can carry out tasks.

A health system transformation platform is planned to improve:

- Availability and distribution of health workers

- Health of health workers

- Social and wellbeing of health workers

- Working conditions

Professionals have been taking early retirement, leaving countries or changing jobs. The vast majorities of service providers were looking to review lifelong learning modules because of economic scarring (IMF and World Bank) which follows covid and is likely to reduce education and training for health staff. It is important to optimise the health educational framework. Could it be done by linking up with the educational sector? Can a global strategy avert the projected 18 million health worker shortage?

The Lancet 1978 competency based curriculum development on medical education paper*** suggested:

- Guidance for curricula design

- Defining roles of individual health workers

- Clarify skills and knowledge relevant to current and future practice

- Focus on the functions of health services rather than who should provide them

- Use common language and conceptual approach

An education working group writes down the learning journey/course contents and the competences and competence required for the functions to be covered by the course content including the behavioural knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The behaviours that are required should cover individual health, population health and management and organization proactive towards Universal Health Care (UHC) and should be

- People centred with collaborations

- Covering personal conduct

- Covering decision making

- Covering communication

- Covering evidence informed practice

covering novices to competent to experts in preservice learning, learning through practice through to proficiency according to a competency and outcome framework.

(**Public Health Pap. 1978;(68):11-91. Competency-based curriculum development on medical education: an introduction W C McGaghie, G E Miller, A W Sajid, T V Telder PMID: 664734 Designed as a resource for members of the World Health Organization, this guide on competency-based curriculum development in medical education may be applied to programs for other health professions and occupations.)

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data. Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT gmail.com