Health worker shortages, a government’s failure to be accountable, Dec 2010

Councils’ Human Resources Officers and President’s Office for Public Services Management (PoPSM) officials should look to their laurels by addressing council specific medical staff shortages that compromise quality and quantity of healthcare service delivery. They should closely collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) and Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Governments (PMORALG) to employ new health workers as per annual Councils’ requests.

Following a recent visit to Temeke Hospital by the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, poor quality of health service delivery at the hospital and critical Staff shortages were discovered. While the MoHSW officials laid blame to the Municipal Director for not requesting enough health workers, media reports quoted Temeke Municipal Director, Steven Kongwa saying that in the fiscal year 2009/10, they requested for 250 health workers but only 20 were provided.

Following these contradictory reports, Sikika, a nongovernmental organization working to stimulate governance in the health sector, did analysis of human resource planning by looking at annual health plans for 32 councils IN Tanzania. This was followed up by anonymous interviews with few officials from various levels of government. Our findings indicate that various forms of problems lie at different levels of government.

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