Deputy Health Minister Opens Workshop

Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandy

 

By KadrieKoroma

The Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandy, has opened a workshop on disseminating findings of needs assessment for rolling out the integrated Human Resource Information Systems (iHRIS) on the theme: “Building a Resilient Workforce” on Thursday August 9, 2018 at the Atlantic Hall of the National Stadium in Freetown.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandy said the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and partners have invested greatly in the health workforce since the beginning of the Free Health Care Initiative in April 2010. He noted that there are still gaps, part of which is related to putting in place a sustainable personnel data management system.

He said, as part of the Human Resources for Health Strategy for 2017- 2021,the Directorate is committed to decentralizing the Integrated Human Resource Information System to district level and to create a public version that can be accessed by other stakeholders. He added that the Directorate of Human Resources for Health started by decentralizing key Human Resource management functions in order to increase efficiency and transparency of the processes while improving communication flow between the central, district and facility level.

Dr. Sandy informed his audience that the decentralization of the Human Resource functions has enabled the Directorate to ensure that healthcare workers remain in their respective work stations and the Human Resource personnel in the districts address their respective Human Resource related concerns.

He added that it has enabled healthcare workers to be closely monitored in respect of quality delivery to the people, and it has equally provided the opportunity for healthcare workers to have instant access to relevant Human Resource information, thereby making their duties more evidence based.

He reiterated that the Ministry therefore commends the efforts of the Human Resources for Health Directorate and its technical partners for their relentlessness to ensure quality delivery, adding that the Ministry would like to appeal to all its technical partners to support this process of decentralization.

The Deputy Health Minister stated that getting the right people in the right place at the right time is a bold step towards building a resilient health system for Sierra Leone that they are all longing for.

WHO Health System Advisor, Dr. Selassi D’almeida, said since he came to this country in November last year, one of the things he saw was the scaling up of iHRIS across the districts and at headquarters level and commended the initiative.

He said iHRIS is a major component in government payroll, as they see Human Resource investing in it; it will accelerate the growth of the workers. He also notes the training process and all other conditions that are related to the workers – like leaving the workplace, going to the workplace, goingfor further studies – are all elements related to human resource development of any institutions.

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Representative, Silvestre Suh, said CHAI has been working in Sierra Leone since 2015 on the invitation of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to support its supply chain system and also improve on its health workforce development.

He said the key success, throughout this period, has been particularly decentralization of human resource management to the districts where the Ministry appointed and deployed Human Resource Directors in all the districts and majorhospitals in Freetown and districts hospitals.

The Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Alie Wurie, said his Directorate is pleased with the initiative on the iHRIS and commended the Ministry’s Human Resource Directorate in its strides in ensuring that they digitalized the Human Resource of the Ministry of Health.

He said the decentralization of the iHRIS would help the District Health Management Teams in effectively managing their human resource issues and challenges, and believed that such initiative will help in effective management in addressing challenges in the area of recruitments, trainings, postings, continuous professional development, programmes and promotions.

The Acting Permanent Secretary and Chairman for the ceremony, Dr. Philip Kargbo, said the Integrated Human Resources for Health Information System (iHRIS) is an open source software system, which helps to track and manage health workforce data in order to improve access to Human Resource services.

He said the Directorate of Human Resources for Health uses this system to capture and maintain high-quality information for health workforce planning, management, regulation and training.

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