Health and retention of staff!

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

The health and wealth of a nation are fundamentally linked. There is this widely belief or notion that healthier populations live longer, more productive lives, leading to greater economic prosperity.

In recent years The Gambia’s health sector has witnessed rapid transformation, as opposed to the 90s when there were only three referral hospitals.

The scenario has changed for the better now as there have been tremendous achievements registered in both the public and private sectors.

Also, health ministry must work towards enhancing the working environment for its professionals. For it to retain its professionals, it must make efforts to understand and empathise with the professionals’ mind-set. It is time agencies with high turnover accept that there could be a bigger push factor in the working environment that is causing them to leave the profession than the pull factor.

It has been observed that when senior doctors decide to leave, no agency makes an effort to understand their reason for leaving. While no one is indispensible, parent agencies and the civil service commission must take the initiative to know what have caused senior physicians to give up practice.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the Health Systems Assessment (HSA) in the health sector has helped shape the country’s health to be at par with international norms and practices. This new mechanism helps to analyze the country’s performance according to set of internationally recognised indicators.

The HSA initiative, according to officials, assessed how the health system was performing as a whole and identified obstacles and opportunities that cut across multiple health system components.

This assessment would no doubt help in policy action that will help policymakers to select interventions that will respond to different health problems and decide on the allocation of resources considering different priorities and demands with short, medium and long-term perspectives.

Remember that advancing human health is key and dear to any government. It is an undisputable fact that weak national health system can be viewed as an important contributor to poverty and inequity in Africa.

For the quality of health sector determines the quality of life for country’s population.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”