Tuesday, September 5, 2017

FIX THE HUMAN RESOURCE OR BE PISSING IN THE WIND

In the last week the members of the judiciary have been on strike for higher pay. We also learnt that despite our spanking new cancer center we have only 30 pathologists, specialists in diagnosis of disease. As a result the more than 4000 cancer patients treated annually have their treatment delayed.

Both speak to an important issue in regard to our development ambitions as a nation.

The troubles of the 1970s and 1980s meant that we fell behind in many aspects of national development. But during the same period, the population about doubled putting a strain on the existing, badly run down, infrastructure. As a result for the last 30 years the government has been playing catch up, especially as population growth did not wait for it to fix the existing infrastructure.

As a result we have deficits everywhere you look.

"In roads alone an average middle income nation like Kenya has about 88 km of paved road per 1000 square km. Assuming we have about 4000 km of paved road our equivalent figure comes to 16 km per 1000 square kilometers. That means despite our best efforts, we still have to build at least five times more road to be a passable middle income nation...

According to a PWC report earlier this year Uganda’s electricity consumption per capita is among the lowest in the world at 215 kwh compared to a sub-Saharan average of 552 kwh and a world average of 2,975 kwh.

According to the world Health Organisation we have one doctor for every 10,000 people, that is half Kenya’s number and way below South Africa’s seven doctors for a comparable number.

This last number is telling in many ways and has greater repercussions than our deficits in physical infrastructure. And it is more or less replicated in every human resource you may think of in our economy – teachers, lawyers, accountants, just name it.

And this is despite dramatic increases in enrollment at every level of education over the last three decades, where again we are playing catch up for the lost decades.

But also while we have churned out the numbers we don’t seem to be able to keep them engaged.
A few weeks officials at Mulago reported to parliament that the national referral hospital was severely under staffed with only about half the compliment of doctors employed for the at least 200,000 patients who come in through its doors annually.

The suggestion is not that the doctors are not there but that the public service pay for doctors in Uganda is about sh2m way below what they would get in the private sector – which is expected, but also way below other professionals in other fields.

But even worse is that our doctors trained in Uganda are leaving the country in droves to ply their trade abroad. In 2013 it was reported that at least 2,000 doctors or about half the roll at the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council had left the country. There is little indication that this haemorrhage has been stemmed.

And we are only using doctors to illustrate a point, its happening in all fields that are crucial for our advancement.

The point is this.

"You can build all the road, dams, schools and hospitals that money can buy but if you do not have the human resource to man them your effort will have accounted for nought....

Given a choice between world class infrastructure and world class human resource a country would rather have the latter than the former. A quality human resource will find ways around the challenges of the infrastructure shortfalls and could spark of innovation in funding, design and construction. The same cannot be said for the alternative scenario.

Of course one can understand that in trying to pull Uganda out of the abyss, there were synchronisation challenges --- what should we do first, infrastructure or human development? A veritable chicken and egg situation.

And it is very likely that there is a national human resource development strategy. Is the strategy being executed? Are we meeting its targets? Why then does the deficit persist?

Clearly beyond literacy and counting we need to invest in development of our human resource and once done, that we need to work hard to retain it in the service of Ugandans.


It seems obvious but the facts on the ground suggest otherwise.

2 comments:

  1. QUANTUM BINARY SIGNALS

    Get professional trading signals sent to your mobile phone every day.

    Start following our trades NOW & gain up to 270% per day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you gotta watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER get back...

    ReplyDelete