Governments in East Africa asked to support young talent to counter shortage in health professionals

According to experts, the shortage of human resources for health in East Africa is a mix of pull and push mechanisms influencing the labour market dynamics. Health professionals will be always attracted by better work conditions and by the desire of career development.  Governments are strongly encouraged to source talents in the field of health and support them early on, during their training and educational years, to retain them for the future.

According to Dr Ilaria Donati, global health policy expert, Italy, and speaker at the upcoming Healthcare Management Conference at Medic East Africa in Kenya, “Students at secondary school and college level that demonstrate interest and talent in health studies should be encouraged by maintaining a productive work environment and a health-focused curriculum. Governments should build an incentive mechanism, both financial and non-financial, (e.g. based on benefits and acknowledgements for people serving in remote areas with bonding contracts for a limited period) to be able to better retain human resources for health.”

In reference to the health sector working group report, the healthcare sector in Kenya faces major challenges such as the number of healthcare workers not keeping up the pace with the population growth, there is over reliance on external funding, and low budgetary allocations to the sector.

The Healthcare Management Conference at Medic East Africa is chaired by Dr. Amit N. Thakker, CEO of the Kenya Healthcare Federation.  It is supported by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (MPDB), as well as the Kenyan Medical Association who will provide 10 CPD points for all healthcare professionals who attend. The conference will take place from 1-3 September 2015 at the Oshwal Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and will feature key issues affecting the East African healthcare labour market today with regards to growing talent shortages and challenges in retaining young healthcare professionals.

Medic East Africa will feature more than 250 healthcare and medical laboratory companies that will showcase their products and services to more than 2,500 attendees during the three-day exhibition. The exhibition will host leading healthcare companies such as Alvo Medical, Hill-Rom, Shemay LTD., KAM Pharmacy, Richard Wolf GmbH, Olympus, and many more.

[1] Health Sector Working Group Report November 2014 pg 11

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