At Gov’t Health Centers… Shortage Of Healthcare Workers!


By Thomas S. Kembay

According to report, government owned healthcare centers are currently under-staffed following a decision by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to stop volunteers in the health sector.

This decision comes following a recent memo from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to all Medical Superintendents, District Medical Officers and heads of Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) urging them to immediately implement rules and regulations governing the government health sector especially that which has to do with hospital volunteers in all government hospitals.

According to the memo, any trained and qualified health worker who wants to work in any government hospital should apply to the Health Service Commission which has the mandate to recruit healthcare workers.


According to the rules and regulations, it is illegal to hire the services of volunteers.

According to the memo, volunteers who have served in government healthcare centers for over the years including nurses were on the 30th of June, 2019 shown the exit door leaving the hospitals under-staffed.

A visit by this medium to Connaught, Cottage, Macualey Street Hospitals, among others, at night revealed little or no attention for patients due to the acute shortage of volunteer nurses.

A senior medical officer who spoke to The Exclusive on conditions of anonymity disclosed that the termination of volunteer service has adversely affected efficient and quality service delivery in the health sector.

“Before the decision, the ratio has always been one nurse to three patients but after the decision it is now one to fifteen,” he said, noting that such an ugly development could lead to more fatalities.