Human Resource

Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world with low health workforce density of 0.7/1000 population, which is far below the minimum threshold density of 2.3 health workers (MD, nurses & Midwives) per 1000 pop for countries to achieve essential services (a targeted 80% coverage rate for skilled birth attendance). In the African region, the average threshold is 1.6 of doctors, nurses & Midwives per 1000 pop (WHR, 2006).

In 2009 when the HR strategic plan has been drafted the level of doctor to Population ratio for Ethiopia was at 1 physician per 36,158 people of which 43% working in Addis Ababa, the national capital. Low production capacity, limited health workforce management systems, which include lack of adequate retention and motivation mechanisms, remain responsible in most. The consequence has been inadequate skill mix, geographical imbalances (urban/rural, interregional and M/F), as well as Mismatch between services requirement and education. The shortage of physicians is attributed to a combination of factors: 1) Limited number of medical schools, 2) Limited capacity of enrolling students, 3) Shortage of medical educators and faculty, and 4) Internal displacement and Brain-drain.

Since then the ministry of health through the human resource development and administrative directorate has been responding through a combination of factors, including, task-shifting, improved retentions schemes and through improved service organization and management of services and improved governance at the decentralized levels (FMOH, 2010). Focus has been given to the phased scaling up of the pre-service education capacities for the scarce health workforce and in line with the national health workforce development plan (HSDP IV/FMOH, 2010). 

National health systems response included accelerated training of health officers in ten existing health science colleges in the country; training of integrated emergency surgery and obstetric officer in eleven universities and thirty affiliate hospitals, as well as training and deployment of government salaried female health extension workers. However, huge gap persisted for the key professional categories, such as medical doctors, midwives, and anesthesia.


I.Human Resource Development case team initiatives

Since Human Resource for Health (HRH) crisis was declared in Sub-Saharan Africa by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006, the continent has been striving its level best to meet the demand of achieving the minimum level of health workforce density (MD, nurses and midwives) required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The estimated figure for Ethiopia was 0.8 per 1000 population. To tackle this problem FMOH has been striving to fill pts gap through planning different strategies hence established human resource development team.

The development team has three sub case teams

  1. Pre service training
  2. National licensing exam
  3. In service training
  1. Pre service training: this a sub case team in human resource development case team which works in producing health professionals where there is deficiency of human resource as well new areas of health professionals which our country didn't produce before and has effect on the quality of service.

1.1New Medical Education Initiative (NMEI)

1.2Ambulance Service and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training

  1. Health Extension Workers (HEW) Upgrading Program
  2. Health Information Technique (HIT)
  3. Integrated Emergency Surgical Officers (IESO) program
  4. Accelerated Midwifery Training Program  
  5. Anesthesia Initiative

New initiatives which are going to start in the near future are

  1. In service training:  Aims at building the capacity of service providers
  • For those who are coming to take their degrees and for staffs applying for long term training.

3.National licensing exam

Works to maintain the quality of education by giving exam before professionals join work.

II.Human Resources Administration Case Team

Under the Human Resource Administration case team there are four initiatives. These are:

2.1 HR Policies and Systems

The following are the major functions performed under this initiative.

  • Initiating and Developing HR policies, guidelines, procedures and manuals.
  • Reviewing  HR policies, guidelines, procedures and manuals
  • Initiating and Developing Organizational Structures
  • Reviewing Organizational Structures.
  • Conducting Job Analysis, Developing Job Descriptions and Job Classifications/grading
  • Introducing and institutionalizing Employee Performance Appraisal system

2.2 Talent Acquisition

This initiative performs the following major functions.

  • Manpower Planning.
  • Filling vacant positions through internal promotion, transfer and external recruitment.
  • Deployment of health professionals to regional health bureaus and health institutions.
  • Employee orientations and pre-deployment trainings for health professionals

2.3 Employee Services and Benefits

The services provided in this initiative are:

  • Processing Different Employment/Contract Terminations
  • Annual and other leaves
  • Motivation and retention schemes
  • Grievance handling and disciplinary Cases
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Employee Benefits and incentives
  • Employee Performance Appraisal

2.4 Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

The followings are the major functions of this initiative.

  • Establishing Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in the health sector at all levels, including health facilities.
  • Developing and introducing HRH indicators
  • Collecting, storing, processing, analyzing and disseminating HRH data


Human Resource Initiatives