Civil society gears up for advocacy on human resources for health
A three-day workshop on advocacy on human resources for health kicked off in Kathmandu today.
The training on advocacy comes at a time when Nepal’s health system is facing serious challenges of shortage of skilled workers, poor retention of the available workforce and widening rural-urban health divide.
Additionally, low productivity and rampant absenteeism of health workers, particularly in rural areas ails the 31,500-strong health workforce.
Nepal is one of the 59 countries identified by the WHO as having critical shortage of human resources for health. The MDG Needs Assessment 2010 states that Nepal requires additional 2,448 medical doctors, 3,418 nurses and 9,202 paramedical staff to deliver minimum level of medical services to the population to meet the millennium development goals. The government’s draft strategy on human resources for health admits that two-thirds of HRH are working in the Kathmandu Valley or in other cities, leaving rural areas generally under-staffed, with absenteeism a growing problem.
Over the three-day workshop, facilitators and participants will discuss HRH issues at both the national and local levels and come up with strategic advocacy plans to encourage the government to take action to resolve several problems facing the country’s human resources for health.
Save the Children Country Director for Nepal Brian J Hunter said, “The poor situation of human resources for health calls for two approaches:
formulation of new HRH policy based on evidence and strict enforcement of the existing rules and regulations. And the role of civil society to work as a watchdog in this connection is crucial.” Nepalnews.com