IFGH 2012: Human Resource for Health (HRH) Database Linkage and Harmonisation in Uganda

January 31, 2012

Authors: Maniple BE., Biesma R., Byrne E., Brugha R.

Author Affiliations:Dept. of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Option 1– Scientific / Empirical Research Findings Presented as – Oral Presentation

Background:

Planning for human resources for health (HRH) requires good knowledge of their distribution and skill mix. Lack of a comprehensive national and reliable HRH database in Uganda limits the knowledge on HRH gaps.

Aims:

To determine the geographical and skill mix distribution of qualified health workers in Uganda; identify the current efforts to improve the quality of available information on staff distribution; determine the level of integration of existing data on staff distribution; and identify the successes and challenges of producing high quality information on staff distribution.

Methods:

Interviews of database managers and review of documents and HRH databases

Results:

Health system sub-components are not obliged to report HRH data to a common database. There are four parallel HRH databases, with no common format, linkage or sharing of data. Data are rarely audited and of poor quality. Only 56% of approved government posts have qualified staff compared to 35% in faith-based units. Median staffing with qualified staff is 55% in the central, urbanised region and 42% in the rural western region, and 36% in the lowest level facilities compared to 88% in national hospitals.

Key achievements include the establishment of a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) at the MOH, and web-based and centralised HMIS in faith-based bureaus. Challenges include lack of a policy on comprehensive national HRH databases, high staff turnover and lack of IT infrastructure and technical capacity at lower levels.

Discussion:

Lack of a policy on national electronic databases limits the willingness to invest in the development of a comprehensive high quality national HRH database. However, the existence of centralised electronic HRH databases in the four main sub-systems is an opportunity that can be exploited to establish a comprehensive national database. We recommend joint investment, harmonisation of formats and linkage of databases in the four sub-systems.

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