Delay in New Recruitment, Promotions and other Personnel Bottlenecks in the Public Health Sector
By AHSAG Posted date: 13th October 2009
The health sector reforms have as their basis the objectives of improving access to services and the equity which these are delivered. It also has the objective of enhancing the quality of health services and greater efficiency in utilizing resources for health and in ensuring that all stakeholders are involved in health care decisions at all levels.
The reforms have initiated changes in a number of areas including increased decentralization of the control and management of resources, increased managerial responsibility, re-organization of service units into Budget Management Centres (BMCs) with clear roles and responsibilities including the release of agreed 'block budgets' to each BMC to manage.
With these systematic changes in resource management in the health sector, the human resource element is still left unchanged. The basic salary management is still centralized and structured in such a way that it makes it difficult for quick and efficient responses to meeting human resource needs such as new recruitment and promotion. For instance, although recruitment and promotions are planned and budgeted for each year, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) still have to issue financial clearance before new staff are put on the payroll.
The process of seeking the financial clearance is bedeviled with long delays, sometimes taking more than one year and the situation is worse for non-clinical staff. Even when the financial clearance is issued, it takes another long procedure for the salaries to be processed for payment of the newly recruited or promoted staff. This creates a lot of frustrations for qualified applicants willing to work with the Service and those who are unable to cope with the situation leave and join other organizations or travel out of the country. The Human Resource Division of Ghana Health Service seems helpless to remove these bottlenecks that stifle recruitment and promotion process in the health sector.
What can we do or change to remove these bottlenecks constraining our health sector reform objectives? What role should the various agencies play: Ministry of Finance and Economic planning, Controller and Accountant General Department, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service etc?