Unequal distribution of Health Professionals:What is the way forward in addressing the problem?
By AHSAG Posted date: 13th October 2009
The issue of shortage of critical health staff particularly Doctors and Nurses in the country has been and continue to be a major concern in the health sector. Indeed the issue has been a pressing subject matter in many for a locally and internationally and it has been widely discussed and well documented.
A major contributing factor to the shortage has been the massive migration of health professionals to greener pastures abroad. Fortunately, to a larger extent, the attrition rate has subsided as a result of various interventions put in place such as improved salary levels, expansion and increase intakes in the various health training institutions, opening of post basic courses, provision of staff hire purchase and tax waiver for staff imported saloon cars etc.
Despite the fact that there has been a down trend in the attrition rate and there has also been a tremendous increase in the turnover of the medical schools, some regions particularly the three Northern Regions are regrettably not benefiting from the resultant increase in the number of Doctors in the country. A large number of the health professional still want to remain in the southern part of the country and in the urban centres resulting in a stark geographical distribution of health professionals in the country with major shortages in the three northern regions.
What measures can we put in place to attract health professionals to the deprived areas particularly the three northern regions?