FINANCING HEALTH CARE: HOW TO BRIDGE THE GAP IN HUMAN RESOURCES FOR HEALTH
Authors: Abdeen M. Omer , and Gamal K. Ali
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Worldwide there are different systems for providing pharmacy services. Most countries have some element of state assistance, either for all patients or selected groups such as children, and some private provisions. Medicines are financed either through cost sharing or full private. The role of the private services is therefore much more significant. Nationally, there is a mismatch between the numbers of pharmacists and where are they worked, and the demand for pharmacy services. The position is exacerbated locally where in some areas of poor; there is a real need for pharmacy services, which is not being met and where pharmacists have little spare capacity. Various changes within the health-care system require serious attention be given to the pharmacy human resources need. In order to stem the brain drain of pharmacists, it is, however, necessary to have accurate information regarding the reasons that make the pharmacists emigrate to the private sector. Such knowledge is an essential in making of informed decisions regarding the retention of qualified, skilled pharmacists in the public sector for long time. There are currently 3000 pharmacists registered with the Sudan Medical Council of whom only 10% are working with the government. The pharmacist: population ratio indicates there is one pharmacist for every 11,433 inhabitants in Sudan, compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) average for industrialised countries of one pharmacist for 2,300 inhabitants. The situation is particularly problematic in the Southern states where there is no pharmacist at all. The distribution of pharmacists indicates the majority are concentrated in Khartoum state. When population figures are taken into consideration all states except Khartoum and Gezira states are under served compared to the WHO average. This mal-distribution requires serious action as majority of the population is served in the public sector. This study reveals the low incentives, poor working conditions, job dissatisfaction and lack of professional development programmes as main reasons for the immigration to the private sector. The objective of this article is to highlight and provide an overview of the reasons that lead to the immigration of the public sector pharmacists to the private sector in Sudan. The survey has been carried out in September 2004. Data gathered by the questionnaires were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12.0 for windows. The result have been evaluated and tabulated in this article. The data presented in this paper can be considered as nucleus information for executing research and development for pharmacists and pharmacy. More measures must be introduced to attract pharmacists into the public sector. The emerging crisis in pharmacy human resources requires significant additional effort to gather knowledge and dependable data that can inform reasonable, effective, and coordinated responses from government, industry, and professional associations.
Keywords: Sudan, Health care, Pharmacy, pharmacist retention, private sector, public sector.