Dominican Republic Passes Law for Health Worker Careers

On July 17, the Dominican Republic House of Representatives approved a bill for health worker careers, which had previously been approved by the Senate, making it a law.

Delivery of the billThe Health Career Law is a legal, technical, and administrative framework that details the employment relationship between the government and health workers and classifies and ranks the salary and wage structure and job functions. The law balances the professional needs and requirements of health workers with the population’s right to health care and the responsibility of health institutions to realize this right.

This process began in 2006 in an effort to improve labor relations and governance in the health sector. In 2008, the government took the next step by enacting Civil Service Law 41-08, which stated that structured career paths are the most effective ways to ensure proper hiring procedures and regulate retention, training, remuneration, and promotion of the most deserving public servants—thus professionalizing the public-service sector.

In July 2011, Vice-Minister of Public Health Nelson Rodriguez asked CapacityPlus for technical assistance to move ahead and complete the process. In the Dominican Republic, CapacityPlus has been helping strengthen the human resources management systems needed for the health workforce to perform effectively. On September 7, 2011, with assistance from CapacityPlus and the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Public Health conducted a forum with unions, universities, service providers, health-sector managers, and others to review the draft legislation for health worker careers. Several follow-up meetings provided the opportunity for further review and consensus. On October 20, 2011, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Public Administration officially delivered the bill to the Senate.

Now that both the House and Senate have approved the bill, the next step is its formal signing by the Executive Office, which is expected to occur before August 16, 2012.

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Photo by Sonia Brito-Anderson. (Delivery of the bill. From left to right: Director of the Human Resources Unit Lic. Joselyn Puente; HR Director of the Ministry of Public Health Lic. Nerys Sanchez; Vice-Minister of Public Health Dr. Jose Rodriguez Aybar; Senator Luis Renee Canaan; Vice-Minister of Public Administration Dr. Gregorio Montero)