Human Resources

Wrong schools or wrong students? The potential role of medical education in regional imbalances of the health workforce in the United Republic of Tanzania
Leon BK and Kolstad JR: Human Resources for Health 8(3), 26 February 2010

This paper is based on the premise that medical schools can play an important role in solving the problem of geographical imbalance of doctors in the United Republic of Tanzania. It reviews available research evidence that links medical students' characteristics with human resource imbalances and the contribution of medical schools in perpetuating an inequitable distribution of the health workforce. Structured questionnaires were also administered to 130 fifth-year medical students at the medical faculties of MUCHS (University of Dar es Salaam), HKMU (Dar es Salaam) and KCMC (Tumaini University, Moshi campus) in Tanzania. The study found a lack of a primary interest in medicine among medical school entrants, biases in recruitment, the absence of rural-related clinical curricula in medical schools, and a preference for specialisation not available in rural areas. These were considered the main obstacles for building a motivated health workforce to help correct the inequitable distribution of doctors in the Tanzania. The study suggests that there is a need to re-examine medical school admission policies and practices.

Wrong schools or wrong students? The potential role of medical education in regional imbalances of the health workforce in the United Republic of Tanzania
Leon BK and Kolstad JR: Human Resources for Health 8(3), July 2010

This paper reviews available research evidence that links medical students’ characteristics with human resource imbalances and the contribution of medical schools in perpetuating an inequitable distribution of the health workforce. Existing literature on the determinants of the geographical imbalance of clinicians, with a special focus on the role of medical schools, is reviewed. Structured questionnaires collecting data on demographics, rural experience, working preferences and motivational aspects were administered to 130 fifth-year medical students at the medical faculties of MUCHS (University of Dar es Salaam), HKMU (Dar es Salaam) and KCMC (Tumaini University, Moshi campus) in the United Republic of Tanzania. The 130 students represented 95.6% of the Tanzanian finalists in 2005. The paper found that the lack of a primary interest in medicine among medical school entrants, biases in recruitment, the absence of rural related clinical curricula in medical schools, and a preference for specialisation not available in rural areas are among the main obstacles for building a motivated health workforce that could help correct the inequitable distribution of doctors in the United Republic of Tanzania. The paper suggests that there is a need to re-examine medical school admission policies and practices.

Zambia paralysed by by workers' strike

Some 80000 striking state workers in Zambia vowed yesterday to pursue a work stoppage which has paralysed operations in ministries and hospitals if their pay demands were not met, a trade union leader said. Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) deputy president Japhet Moonde said union leaders presented their demands for a 100 percent pay hike to Vice President Enos Kavindele yesterday, as the strike entered its second week.

ZAMBIA'S STRIKING PUBLIC WORKERS SCALE DOWN DEMANDS

Striking public workers in Zambia have scaled down their demands from a 100 percent pay hike to a "reasonable" salary increment, a union leader said Monday. "We have come down from our initial demand. We have asked the government to give us a reasonable offer," Darison Chaala, secretary general of the Civil Servants Union of Zambia, told AFP.

Zambia: Health workers Conflict Resolved

The confrontation that ensued between health workers in Livingstone and the provincial health directorate in Southern Province over the withdrawal of labour has now been resolved. The matter concerned the disciplinary letters which were handed to striking workers while the Civil Servants Union of Zambia (CSUZ) was concluding negotiations with Government.

Zambia: Social Services Crippled by Three-Week Strike

A three-week long strike by Zambian public sector workers has crippled hundreds of schools and hospitals and slowed the delivery of other key government services in this impoverished southern African country. However, a preoccupation with an unfolding political crisis that could see a parliamentary motion to impeach embattled President Frederick Chiluba being passed appears to have diverted official attention from the resultant social crisis.

Zambian nurses exodus condemned

Norwegian Nurses Association International (NNAI) Secretary Per Godtland Kristensen has described as unethical the practice whereby rich countries rob poor nations of nurses through mass recruitment. Speaking at a joint Press briefing for NNAI, Zambia Nurses Association (ZNA) and International Council of Nurses (ICN) in Lusaka, Mr Kristensen said rich nations must not be allowed to recruit nurses from developing countries en-masse.

Zeroing in: AIDS donors and Africa’s health workforce
Oomman N, Wendt D and Droggitis C: Centre for Global Development, 2010

Have AIDS external funders harmed or strengthened health workforce development in countries with severe shortages? This research led to six key findings. First, to staff AIDS programmes, external funders have relied on training existing workers and taskshifting, not on training new health workers. Second, AIDS external funders have swamped countries with in-service training programmes for HIV/AIDS-specific skills. Third, PEPFAR and the Global Fund have relied on task-shifting to lower level health workers without assuring adequate resources or support. Fourth, community health workers are employed as a quick fix without considering their long -term role. Fifth, the incentives that AIDS external funders offer health workers to achieve HIV and AIDS programme targets distort allocations of time and resources to the detriment of other health sector objectives. Finally, AIDS external funders pay health workers through short-term special arrangements without addressing long-term constraints on the public and private health workforce.

Zim doctors on strike

Medical consultants and specialists at all public hospitals throughout Zimbabwe are on an indefinite strike over low salaries and poor working conditions, plunging an already ailing heath sector into deeper crisis. The senior doctors went on strike on Sunday following an ultimatum they issued to the government to address their grievances by last Saturday.

Zim Health Scheme for All Workers On the Cards

THE government, workers and employers have entered into negotiations that could result in the launch of a medical aid scheme to provide health cover for Zimbabwean workers, according to National Social Security Authority (NSSA) general manager Amod Takawira. He said NSSA, the government's main investment arm, was involved in the negotiations but would not indicate how long the consultations had been going on. "The national health insurance scheme is being finalised by the relevant stakeholders and will benefit all employees who meet the required conditions," Takawira told the Financial Gazette.

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