HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population is preparing a strategic plan to cope with the big gap between number of health workers and country’s population.
The World Health Organisation has categorised Nepal as a country with ‘critical shortage’ of human resource in the health sector. The ministry is preparing the strategic plan in coordination with Global Health Workforce Alliance through WHO to for the production, recruitment, deployment, career development, retention, monitoring and evaluation of human resource in the health sector.
According to a WHO-2006 report, about 57 countries currently have a gap between the existing number of health workers per thousand population.
Padam Raj Bhatta, Chief at Human Resource and Financial Resource Division Management under MoHP, said they are working with five technical working groups at present to complete the plan by the end of June. He said the shortage of health workers is one of the critical constraints to achieve Millennium Development Goals.
Bhatta said the crisis is impairing provision of essential life-saving interventions such as childhood immunisation, safe pregnancy and delivery services for mothers and access to prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. “Without urgent action, the shortage will worsen further,” said Bhatta.
At present, there is an imbalance between supply and demand in human resource in the health sector and there is mal-distribution of health staff, said Bhatta, adding, there is poor staff performance in productivity, quality and availability with fragmented approach to human resource planning, management and development.
“With the plan preparation, we will deploy health workers at vacant places and distribute manpower in equal ratio,” said Bhatta. There is a lack of adequate staffing in rural areas compared to cities and unfavourable working condition and health worker migration have challenges in the health sector.