Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Public Health
Release Date:
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 - 2:46pm

The Government of the Virgin Islands is making strides towards strengthening service delivery and increasing healthcare access.

To this end, a training workshop on WISN (Workload Indicator of Staffing Needs) was held from March 14 to17 for employees from the Ministry of Health and the BVI Health Services Authority.

The workshop was facilitated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) through its representative and Lead Facilitator, Dr. Erica Wheeler.

Dr. Erica Wheeler said healthcare access requires two key elements for sustainability: Coverage, which speaks to adequate financing, and availability, in providing the type of services that are necessary for the health of a population.

The workshop facilitator said human resource for health is a very critical area, and added that there are two stumbling blocks to the achievement of universal health discovered by PAHO.

 “One is health financing which is the amount of resources allocated to funding the health sector and the other is human resources for health,” Dr. Wheeler explained. She added, “We have a lot of challenges and a shortage of human resources for health with the right types of skills and competencies to achieve universal health.  That is the reason why we are running this workshop for the BVI.”

Dr. Wheeler said the tool is simple to operate, realistic, applicable to all personnel situations and technically applicable.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer BVI Health Services Authority, Mrs. Paula Chester-Cumberbatch said the workshop was very important because of the need to be able to justify the health sector’s human resource needs from a financial and strategic perspective.

Mrs. Chester-Cumberbatch said that there is also a need to ensure that staff is functioning at optimum capacity, and is providing the range of services that are needed.

The CEO added, “Through this programme we can ensure that our human resources are well selected, equipped and have the right skills mix required to provide the best possible service.”

Mrs. Chester-Cumberbatch stated that the WISN tool will allow for decision making and planning to be more precise.  “It allows for us to look at the categories of staff we need by type in terms of facilities. It will also allow for key staff to have a better understanding of what the needs are to provide reliable services to the people of the BVI,” she said.

The WISN tool is expected to assist in improving staffing situations, help management to set better priorities for allocating or transferring new staff, and aid in the revision of existing staffing.

The Ministry of Health and the BVI Health Services Authority is committed to achieving universal health and improved access to services.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286