Date: Wednesday 10th February 2016
Venue: Metropole Hotel
In September 2015, global attention shifted from meeting a handful of Millennium Development Goals to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which entails ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” (goal 3.8) as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Uganda is just in the infant stages of adopting UHC policies the most recent being the development of a UHC focused Health Sector Development Plan. This draws from the National Health Policy II, the Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan II.
Human resources for Health (HRH) are critical for supporting health systems towards UHC. During the National Symposium on UHC funded by SPEED for Universal Health Coverage (SPEED) Project in August 2015 in Kampala, several challenges facing HRH in Uganda were noted. These include shortage in supply, both in numbers and in skills mix, to effectively respond to the health needs in Uganda. For instance, according to the statistics from Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Council (UNMC) report (2015), there are only 55,137 nurses /midwives in Uganda which translates into about six hundred thirty-four (634) patients per nurse/midwife.
Human resources for health planning is paramount for the efficient utilization of current resources and successful implementation of UHC programs. Therefore the SPEED project would wish to consult key stakeholders on two policy issues regarding HRH in Uganda. First, recently, it has been recommended that certificate level (enrolled) nurses are phased out in the all East African member states. There are indications that the Government of Uganda is moving ahead with the policy decision to phase out these nursing cadres. There is need to explore the implications of the proposed policy during its formative phase. This dialogue explores the implications of phasing out some nursing cadres on nursing training and practice; the health systems in general and the likely influence of this reform on the progress towards UHC in Uganda.
Secondly, the challenges on attraction, retention and attrition of health workers in rural settings and regional referral hospitals have been documented, it worthwhile exploring opportunities for change. The dialogue thus seeks to explore how the recruitment and deployment processes are contributing to these problems and to identify potential policy levers for change.
Aim of the policy dialogue
The SPEED partnership has organised a policy dialogue to facilitate discussions among key stakeholders on the implications of the proposed policy decisions to phase out enrolled nurse (and other nursing cadres) on the Ugandan health systems and UHC agenda. It is expected that the dialogue on recruitment and deployment processes will contribute to the wider discussions on human resources for health reforms needed to progress towards UHC in Uganda.
This is a policy dialogue involving actors from the government departments, parliament, private sector, academia and civil society. It will mainly use the following approaches:
- Group discussions on strength and shortfalls of the proposed reforms and/or current deployment & recruitment practices pegged on perspectives and experiences from the academia; MOH, practitioners; private sector/ civil society and Local government.
- Plenary discussions: The moderator will then open the debate as the rapporteur notes the critical issues and resolutions emerging from the debate and discussions.
Expected out puts
- A policy paper on policy implications on the phasing out enrolled nurse (and other nursing cadres) on the Ugandan health systems and UHC agenda.
- A policy brief on the recruitment and deployment processes will be produced.
 Health sector development plan 2015/16 – 2019/20