Planning for the future supply of skills to the healthcare sector is difficult due to a large number of factors that affect the need for skills, not least the ongoing transition to local care with primary care as the hub. Since many stakeholders are involved, strong national, regional and local collaboration is needed in order to understand the different conditions for each stakeholder.
The National Health Competence Council consists of members who represent the stakeholders responsible for the supply of skills to the healthcare sector: regions, municipalities and universities and colleges (academic institutions). The Directors General of the authorities responsible for the Council, the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) and National Board of Health and Welfare, are also included.
The Council also collaborates with other key relevant stakeholders in order to benefit from different perspectives on issues and to create a consensus on issues that require proposals for action. These include, for example, professional, employee and interest organisations, patient and student associations, as well as other existing cooperative bodies such as the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Swedish Association of Higher Education (SUHF).
An important task for the Council is to act as a collective arena where the main relevant stakeholders, higher education institutions and responsible healthcare authorities, can jointly discuss the need for changes in issues relating to the healthcare sector, the education system, continual training measures, and the working methods required to meet future needs for the supply of skills.
Areas for collaboration
Several areas that face particular challenges and where better collaboration can make a difference include, for example, the dimensioning, range and content of training courses, the need for new knowledge and skills in healthcare, and issues relating to continual training and lifelong learning. The practical part of training courses also requires better collaboration in order to provide the right skills to the healthcare sector. The needs of the higher education institutions for post-doctoral staff and the prerequisites for clinical research are also areas with a requirement for better collaboration.
The work programme for the National Health Competence Council describes the areas that will be addressed by the Council during the current year.
Supporting the regional healthcare councils
Sweden is divided into six healthcare regions. When the Council was established, the Government proposed that the existing collaboration between regions, municipalities and academic institutions in the healthcare regions should be developed into six regional healthcare councils, with representatives from all three above-mentioned stakeholders. Collaboration at national level aims at supporting the work at the regional healthcare level, which, in turn will support further levels closer to the activities (S2019/03995/FS). The Council and its office will therefore conduct a reciprocal dialogue with the regional healthcare councils, in order to communicate assessments based on the national perspective and to register issues that cannot be addressed at the regional healthcare level.
The National Council supports the activities of the six regional healthcare councils, both during the build-up phase and on a continuous basis. Read more about the regional healthcare councils under Regional collaboration.