The Icelandic working group
Icelandic Group statement
We have a broad experience and knowledge in the team – nurses, doctor and bio-technician with an extensive management experience. We also hold many years of experience working with Northern Periphery Programmes and thus a lot of international networking and contacts. We are all enthusiastic to work towards improved recruitment and retention – as we are all responsible for making it work. That perhaps makes us the “key players” in this role.
Our team’s top 3 key priorities:
- Change the attitude towards recruiting and retaining people in rural healthcare services in Iceland.
- Establish a sustainable mechanism at the municipality in how to make new recruits welcome to the community
- The importance of having good guidance and a plan on how to recruit and retain healthcare staff in rural areas.
Icelandic Team Member Biography
Chief Executive of Emergency, Education and Quality control Services and Chief Nursing Executive
Hildigunnur believes that providing the right working environment and having the correct skill mix in place lays the foundation for good service to the patients. Living in a small country, outside the capital area, is a challenge in relation to recruiting and retaining. Understanding that challenge i.e. working in a smaller community is important when we are trying to “market” the hospital AND the community.
Hildigunnur has worked a lot with many different international projects and has long experience in working with Northern periphery programmes so she is quite familiar with the common challenges in these areas. Such cooperation has provided many opportunities and a lot of learning points which have been applied at Akureyri hospital.
Hildigunnur is inspired to have people understanding the beauty of living and working in more sparsely populated area. Working in a remote and rural healthcare is very challenging, but it can be more personal and provide many opportunities both in the work place and in the community.
Hildigunnur is a certified nurse with postgraduate degree in Health care Sciences. She has also a long experience in the administration / managerial site of running a health care services. She has also good international connections through her international projects, both as an Honorary Secretary of the European Resuscitation Council and through the NPA work.
Chief Executive Officer
Bjarni Jónasson works with Akureyri Hospital as CEO. He is responsible to the Minister of Health for the services and the operations of the Hospital.
Bjarni knows that Akureyri Hospital is one of the cornerstones in the community. The services it provides are essential for the inhabitants in its catchment area. It is a constant challenge to keep the posts of Healthcare workers filled in non-urban areas and adopting to different needs of the workforce – present and future – as well as the population.
Bjarni has long experience working with international projects within and outside the Healthcare services. He is familiar with the many challenges that are common to the Northern part of Europe and has participated in some Northern Periphery Programs. This work has provided ideas and solutions to challenges being faced at Akureyri Hospital.
Bjarni is inspired to introduce the good quality of living outside urban areas and the opportunities that are for Healthcare professionals in remote and rural healthcare.
Bjarni has more than 30 year experience working as an administrator. He has been working at Akureyri Hospital since 2005 in different managerial posts and as CEO since 2012. Before he worked as management consultant and as director and manager for industrial and service companies.
Bjarni holds a degree in Chemistry from University of Iceland as well as having completed various management courses.
Sigurður E Sigurðsson
Chief Medical Executive Officer Chief Executive of Surgical Services
Sigurður E Sigurðsson is the Chief Medical Executive Officer and Chief Executive of Surgical Services at Akureyri Hospital (SAk). He is by law required to oversee and evaluate the professional standard of physicians and other health care worker in the hospital.
As the Chief Medical officer Sigurður understands the need for adequate staffing of health care workers in SAk hospital so it may fulfill its role in serving the community.
Sigurður is a specialist in anesthesia and intensive care and has worked as such for more than 20 years. He has experience in working as a GP in rural area and also in out of hospital health care with helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts.
Sigurður understands that health care is the cornerstone of every society. Basic health care should if possible be local and adequate resources applied for more specialized services.
Sigurður has mainly worked as an administrator for the last 6 years, has participated in international work and working groups for the government for example in telemedicine and electronic health records .
Sigurður believes that recruiting quality health care workers to rural areas and giving them and their families the opportunity to enjoy the privileges of living in those areas will lead to a more equally posed society.