The healthcare system is in a stage of reform in Ukraine. The current Ukrainian Government (GoU) is clearly committed to accelerate the process of economic transition towards a market oriented economy to support a stronger civil society. The reform of the healthcare system is a top priority for the GoU. The need to reform medical education and to introduce innovative approaches to human resources development had previously been evoked in several policy debates but not systematically been taken up until recently by the Ministry of Health. Following a lengthy process which involved conducting surveys and evaluating data, a draft paper of the ‘Strategy for the Development of Medical Education in Ukraine until 2028’ was published in July 2018. It is widely recognised that the availability of appropriately trained, well resourced, equipped, deployed and motivated workers in the health sector are critical factors for delivering quality healthcare interventions that will improve population health outcomes. Thus, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health prepared an outline for a partnership in mid-2017 to foster the systematic development of human resources with a focus on front line healthcare workers and related managers. Further project development was undertaken in an inception period (April to October 2018) during which implementation concepts, partnership modalities, requisite budgets and other relevant elements of development project focusing on medical education were elaborated.
Objectives and Aims
One of the most fundamental tasks of the Medical Education Development Project (MED) is to support the overall health system reform with appropriate Human Resources (HR) development. A particular focus will be placed on the primary healthcare (PHC) workforce - family doctors and family nurses, as well as on enhancing capacities and skills of the managerial personnel.
Embedded into the SDC cooperation strategy 2019 to 2022 for Ukraine, the overall goal of the Medical Education Development Project (MED) is to provide quality care to the Ukrainian population by improving the medical education system for primary healthcare workforce
- Capacities and skills of primary healthcare staff (family doctors and nurses) are strengthened through an improved national medical education system
- Performance and efficiency of healthcare services are improved through strengthened management capacities.
Methods and Approaches
Within Outcome 1, curriculum reform, improved clinical skills teaching and modern teaching approaches shall result in health professionals who are adequately prepared to meet health and health services needs of Ukraine. This shall be achieved through interventions on the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of medical education, including continuous professional development, and through the dialog with Ministry of Health and expert support on all stages of the medical education reform. All activities will be implemented in three pilot medical universities and three educational institutions for nurses that were precelected during the inception phase of the project.
Pilot Higher Educational Medical Institutions (as of December 10, 2018)
- Higher State Educational Establishment of Ukraine “Bukovinian State Medical University”
- Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University
- Kharkiv National Medical University
Nursing Educational Institutions
- Higher Educational Communal Institution of Lviv Regional Council “Andrey Krupynsky Lviv Institute of Nursing and Laboratory Medicine”
- Municipal Higher Educational Institution “Zhytomyr Medical Institute” Zhytomyr Regional Council
- Municipal Institution of higher education «Rivne medical academy» of Rivne regional council
Further, the project will collaborate and strengthen professional associations as ‘content providers’ and professional entities to set standards and to guide the development of training materials.
Within Outcome 2, the governance and management of the medical education system shall be improved. It is anticipated that this will translate into human resource for health policies and practices favouring effective, efficient and sustainable primary healthcare delivery, ultimately leading to better quality of care and improved health of the population. This shall be achieved through the support to health workforce planning, management training, application of the multi-stakeholder approach and regional exchanges. In order to develop managerial trainings, the 'Summer School on Healthcare System Transformation’, founded as an initiative of SDC’s and Swiss TPH’s Maternal and Child Health project, will be supported with the transformation into a full master programme in Healthcare Management.
On the level of health services, management training (theory and coaching) will be provided and health administrations should be enabled to set up, conduct and monitor their improvement projects.
Students and staff of the pilot educational institutions, family doctors and family nurses, managers of the primary healthcare institutions, primary healthcare services users.