Washington DC, September 24, 2009 – The World Bank has approved new investments worth $ 77.8 million aimed at improving the quality of health professionals (medical and dental practitioners, nurses, and midwives), by helping the Indonesian government design an internationally recognized, competence-focused accreditation system applicable to all health professional schools.
Over the years, Indonesia has seen the number of health professional schools increasing rapidly, indicating there is a high demand to become a doctor, nurse or midwife. However, these schools are governed by inadequate regulations and at times overlapping accreditation processes, which often put less emphasis on the quality of training. The Project will support the development of national competency standards and certification procedures for health professionals. The Health Professional Education Quality project is expected to help improve the quality of health professionals by putting in place a nationally standardized competence test that assures the quality of new medical school graduates.
“High quality health professionals are a prerequisite to better health outcomes,” said Fasli Jalal, Director General of Higher Education at the Ministry of National Education, who also heads the new World Bank-supported project. “The Health Professional Education Quality project contributes to improving the quality of education for health professional education. In turn, this project will benefit future patients, as well as the many aspiring doctors, nurses and midwives who have made substantial investments in their education.”
The Health Professional Education Quality project helps Indonesia take action on the reform plans to improve the quality of Indonesian health professionals, as mandated by the 2004 Medical Practice Act. The project will consist of three main components:
§ Strengthening policies and procedures for school accreditation – An independent body will be established for the accreditation of medical, dental, nursing, and midwifery schools. The accreditation approach itself will shift from quantitative to qualitative.
§ Developing national competency standards for certification of health professionals – An independent national evaluation center will be established to design and implement competency standards for medical, dental, nursing and midwifery students. Prior to graduation, students will be evaluated on their knowledge, clinical skills, attitudes, ethics, and communication skills.
§ Building capacity to employ results-based grants for medical schools – Once the new accreditation and certification standards are in place, grants will be given to selected medical schools to help them meet these new standards. Grants would be given through three schemes: to build international reputation; to build capacity of new medical schools; and to help moderate capacity schools achieve medical education standards.
“Indonesia has achieved impressive gains in widening access to health services over the past 25 years, which in turn has led to significant improvements in life expectancy and infant mortality. However, Indonesia is still lagging behind its regional peers in maternal mortality and malnutrition rates, indicating that the health care challenges go beyond just improving access,” said Joachim von Amsberg, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia. “The Health Professional Education Quality project will contribute to better health outcomes by improving the quality of the health care providers: the doctors, dentists, nurses, and midwives.”