Nassau, 14 June 2023 (PAHO): The Pan American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Wellness of The Bahamas conducted a highly participatory workshop for the development of an Action Plan resulting from the evaluation and strengthening of the Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF). Through the finalization of this workshop, The Bahamas has become the second country in the Caribbean subregion to complete the final phase of the evaluation.
The 2-day action plan workshop was attended by Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Wellness of The Bahamas; Cherita Moxey, Planning Unit, Ministry of Health and Wellness of The Bahamas; and Eldonna Boisson, PAHO/WHO representative in The Bahamas; in addition to more than 40 key health system stakeholders and representatives from PAHO national and regional team.
To begin the workshop, Boisson commended The Bahamas’ commitment, engagement, and ownership throughout this exercise, acknowledging The Bahamas as one of the first countries of the Caribbean to undertake the new methodology.
“Developing of the action plan with the participation of all the various stakeholders present will improve the content of the plan and the chance of successfully closing those key gaps that have been identified,” said Boisson.
Higgs affirmed the importance of the exercise, saying the “action plan will assist the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the development and continued advancement of a comprehensive set of health policies and system improvement strategies, and this will be done in collaboration with stakeholders both within and outside our health sector.”
In her concluding remarks, Moxey recognized the dedication and valued discussion between the participants throughout the two-day workshop, noting the completion of the exercise as an incredible achievement that will lead a positive impact for The Bahamas, echoing the critical next steps of presenting the final action plan and linking the EPHF strengthening process to the development of The Bahamas’ national health plans.
During the activity, participants collaborated to determine concrete objectives and strategies to be included in the action plan for the reduction of priority gaps and to identify responsible institutions and timeframes for achieving the defined goals. The Bahamas will continue the process through continued discussions to ensure the application and integration of the results.