Strengthening human resources for health in Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia has lacked policies on human resources for healthcare services, so in order to address this the Commonwealth has helped the government pursue a reform programme.

The reforms have been designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.

The project was led by Kelly Culver, a registered professional trainer, specialising in public sector and not for profit organisations. Under this Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation project Ms Kelly Culver assisted the government of Saint Lucia to develop modern and well-fitting policies and capacities to deliver effective human resources for healthcare services.

As a result of this support, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations now has a national Human Resources for Health policy. This policy will guide and influence decisions made by both private and public health sector organisations relating to strategic HR initiatives and investments. The immediate beneficiaries of this project are the staff and senior management at the Ministry. They will now benefit from a transformed and strengthened, functionally-based, integrated and strategic HR department, supported by senior Ministry leadership.

This project has also supported a thorough process of data reconciliation, data ownership, and data integration to support evidence-based workforce planning and training. A national HRH database will now allow the Ministry to make projections and resource allocation recommendations in partnership with private sector organisations. Cross-Ministerial HRH stakeholder groups have also been established to maximise impact across Government. The Director of Human Resource Management noted: “Workforce planning is applicable to every government organisation… this knowledge will help other Ministries to plan better also”.


As with all Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) projects, skills transfer and host ownership are paramount to a project's success. During implementation, key staff from across government and private sector health providers have been directly driving the shape and priorities for improved human resources for health in Saint Lucia.  According to a Ministry of Health, HR Officer: “This project has brought together key health sector people and those who can influence policy decisions to create a national policy."

The HRH policy and strengthened HRH capacity within the health sector is aimed at delivering: “The right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, could save a life and can change a life."