Australia and Solomon Islands have confirmed their commitment to ensure that Solomon Islanders have access to high quality trained doctors.
Last week, more than 45 representatives from peak Australian medical and development organisations gathered with senior Government officials in Honiara to pledge their ongoing support for an innovative medical workforce development program at the National Referral Hospital.
Funded by the Australian High Commission, the Solomon Island Graduate Internship Supervision and Support Program is supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in managing large numbers of foreign-trained medical graduates returning to Solomon Islands.
The program operates in conjunction with the Australian Volunteers Program, in partnership with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Centre for International Child Health, the John James Foundation and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who provide ongoing training and support of Solomon Islands medical graduates.
Chair of the NRH Medical Training Committee, Dr Aaron Oritaimae said the meeting comes at an exciting time for Solomon Islands and Australia in their partnership to train and develop the medical workforce of Solomon Islands to serve the community to the highest standard.
Meanwhile, the Australian High Commission office in Honiara said the program mobilizes Australian volunteer doctors to the NRH, specialising in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
These volunteers provide assistance to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to supervise, train and assess new medical graduates through their bridging programs and internships.
First Secretary of Health from the Australian High Commission, Fiona Mulhearn said the program is an important component of Australia’s Health Sector Support Program, to support the development of an appropriately skilled workforce to provide improved health services in facilities across Solomon Islands.
Last week’s meeting was aimed at working together to agree on the best way to overcome medical workforce training and development challenges in the country.