The Solomon Islands Health Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil commends Commonwealth for its continuous encouragement for member states to invest more in Primary Health Care as the best health care strategy for achieving Universal Health Coverage.
Speaking at the 35th Commonwealth Health Minister’s Meeting in Geneva Switzerland, Mrs. Pauline McNeil, highlighted Primary health care as the backbone of Solomon Islands health system.
“We have more than 300 primary health care clinics and only 10 hospitals. Nine of our hospitals also offer some level of primary health care services. Unfortunately, most of our health workforce are based in hospitals with many of our clinics manned by only one or two nurses.”
“Therefore, improving primary health care in terms of increasing staffing and skill mix has been slow due to limited staff housing and competing hospital demands due to increasing specialization”, explained Mrs. McNeil.
Mrs. McNeil said that despite the challenges Solomon Islands commitment towards enhancing primary health care is stronger than ever.
“This is reflected in our National Health Strategic Plan and our Role Delineation Policy. We call for investment in upgrading of primary health facilities to cater for the expansion of services such as provision of basic diagnostic services in order to provide comprehensive and integrated primary health care service delivery.”
She also called for engagement to complement the work of WHO and other development partners in addressing the unique challenges faced by developing member states in their efforts to strengthen primary health care.
Mrs. McNeil concluded acknowledging commonwealth secretariat for the successful organization of the 35th Health Minister’s meeting and Kenya for hosting the meeting.
Source: Press Release, Ministry of Health and Medical Services