Dominican Republic Launches Health Worker Job Descriptions and Orientation Manuals

On February 19, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Public Administration launched new job description manuals for the posts of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and bioanalysts, along with an orientation manual for each of these positions.

Health worker job description manuals at launch eventCapacityPlus helped develop these documents, which are the first of their kind for health workers in the Dominican Republic.

A clear and fair system for health careers
“These manuals will support better functions of management, supervision, coordination, and discipline of institutional personnel,” said Minister of Health Dr. Freddy Hidalgo Nuñez at the launch event, “as well as facilitate recruitment and selection of qualified staff for each post.”

This initiative is a key component of administrative reform in the public sector. It supports a uniform and equitable system of classification and rank of health worker positions, including compensation and incentives.

Dr. Roberto Lafontaine and Dr.Sonia Brito-AndersonDr. Roberto Lafontaine is director of Francisco Moscoso de Puello Hospital in Santo Domingo. To date, a new employee would show up for work and have to figure things out without the aid of an orientation or a job description. “It made managing the institution very difficult,” he noted. “Now there are written job descriptions and defined positions, and one can provide a quality training and orientation process that will go much further—and that has to improve the performance of new employees, as they’ll know from the beginning the commitment they’re making to providing health care to our people.”

Participatory process
Audience at Dominican Republic launch eventThese documents were developed in collaboration with service providers, health professional associations, academics, and representatives of the Ministry of Public Health, as well as managers at the local, regional, and central levels. They align with the General Health Law No. 42-01 and the standards set by the Ministry of Public Administration.

“The fact that an institution like Francisco Moscoso de Puello Hospital was involved [in the participatory process] fills us with pride as a hospital,” said Dr. Lafontaine at the launch, “and secondly it gives validity to this work because it was shared from the beginning. Indeed the whole process started with a group of hospitals, and from there we did a survey of the current situation [of hiring and job descriptions]. Once the survey was done we held another group meeting based on the results to determine what should be done [to produce a set of responsive and appropriate manuals].”

Next steps
CapacityPlus is working closely with the Division of Human Resources to create a nationwide implementation plan. The first three priority sites will be Luis E. Aybar Hospital, Nuestra Senora de La Altagracia Maternity Hospital, and San Lorenzo de Los Mina Maternity Hospital.

In addition, CapacityPlus will coordinate with the National Unit of Drug Management and Supplies to familiarize 21 priority hospitals with these new documents, with support from USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, focused on the supply chain workforce.

“This is an administration committed to breaking paradigms, to bringing to fruition quality care for all of our clients,” said Maribel Evangelista, director of the Division of Human Resources in the Ministry of Public Health. “We will only be able to achieve this if we have clarity regarding the functions of our primary raw material—which is human resources for health.”

Participants at Dominican Republic launch event

Help CapacityPlus spread the word about strengthening the health workforce. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Related items:

Photos by Alex Collins (job description and orientation manuals; Dr. Roberto Lafontaine and CapacityPlus Country Director Dr. Sonia Brito-Anderson; launch event; Dr. Angela Diaz Fermin of CapacityPlus, Ana Paulino of the Human Resources Unit Region VIII, Dr. Sonia Brito-Anderson, and Maribel Evangelista of the Division of Human Resources in the Ministry of Public Health)