Stakeholders in the health sector at the weekend identified the human resource gap as one of the factors militating against improved healthcare delivery in the country. They spoke at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) graduated over 1,429 in Edo State.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, at the joint convocation noted that human resource was key in reforming the country’s health systems for performance and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to him,” the biggest challenge, however, is how to re-organise, align and re-orientate the human resource for health (HRH) management and development systems to reduce the deficit and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in health service delivery.”
Lamenting the dearth of human resources in the health sector, Okundia said the major challenge was “how to ensure availability and retention of adequate pool of competent human resources in their right mix to provide healthcare in areas where their services are most needed.
“Shortages of health workforce are perceived to be widespread and supply of health care professionals and other service providers is inadequate to meet requirements.”
He went on: Coupled with the above, the uneven distribution of competent health workforce deprives many groups access to life-saving services, a problem exacerbated by accelerated migration in open labour markets that draws skilled workers away from the poorest communities and countries.”
The commissioner pointed out that the protocol required for the human resources gap was demanding hence the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration is putting machinery in place to ensure that the state’s health sector was adequately driven by a competent workforce bolstered by training and retraining.
In his speech, the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, said the institution was in the forefront of providing quality medical care for patients and training of health workers. Reiterating the mandate of the institution to the training of human resources for all levels of healthcare, confirmed that 1, 429 students were graduated.
“In our history, the hospital has expanded and deepened services with equally increasing supportive infrastructure. Specialisations in various professional fields have been introduced with great achievements by past generations of leaders of our great hospital,” he added.
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