The International Skills and Training Institute in Health (ISTIH) was established in 2005 to provide assistance in the training of health workers, primarily in the Asia Pacific region.
Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in late 2004 it became clear that a significant number of the health training facilities were destroyed, and that health professionals and teaching staff had either fallen victim to the disaster, or left the region. A number of prominent West Australian individuals formed the International Skills and Training Institute in Health (ISTIH) to mobilise staff in the region and help to develop and support new and existing training programs in medicine, nursing and allied health areas, as well as developing new programs in other regions.
ISTIH is an independent, non-for-profit institute. It was initially founded under the umbrella of two major core partners: The University of Western Australia and the Health Department of Western Australia via the Office of the Chief Health Officer. This co-operation facilitates cross-campus and cross-community collaboration, avoiding unnecessary competition. Yet ISTIH is now growing beyond the foundation of its initial core partners.
The founding members were Professors Michael V. Henderson and Bruce Robinson.
The objects of ISTIH are to identify, advance, conduct, encourage and facilitate training and education to help developing countries become self sufficient in the provision of health services. To cause, contribute to and promote improvement in the care of diseases, injuries and other health conditions by providing staff to the region to help with existing training programs in medicine, nursing and allied health areas. To assess the need for, develop and evaluate health education programs.
To collaborate with and assist others (including, without limitation, other research bodies, hospitals, clinics, health authorities, universities and other educational institutions) in promoting improvements in training in health and to foster a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to training and education and the provision of outstanding health services.
To attract professionals, researchers, technicians and students of the highest calibre and standing who are experienced and committed to disaster management in developing countries and to seek, encourage and receive private and public sector funding and sponsorship of, and fund, research projects and research training schemes.
ISTIH has the capability to identify, facilitate and project manage broad based aid projects. Such projects include fresh water supply and treatment, design of health care facilities, education in biomedical engineering, diagnostic equipment training, health care site accreditation. ISTIH can also provide assistance to help facilitate and co-ordinate various other aid projects.
ISTIH brings together experienced professionals who have successfully delivered aid projects. It is wholly dedicated to the provision of assistance in the development of skills and training.
ISTIH has a well developed representation within institutions and academia, including a vast network of specialists, doctors, nurses and allied health workers, most with extensive experience in the delivery of health training.