Health Minister laments acute shortage of medical personnel


December 9, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Minister of Health and Sanitation has stated that the country was currently experiencing an acute shortage in medical personnel, especially doctors as there were only 148 clinicians in the public health service for a population of over 7 million.

According to Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, the country has only one medical doctor to 47,000 patients and one doctor to 21 hospital beds across the country.

He was speaking in the ministry’s conference room on Wednesday (December 7) during an orientation ceremony for thirteen (13) medical personnel, including doctors from Nigeria, who are in the country to help provide quality healthcare services to patients for the next two years.

He expressed fervent hope that with the coming of the Nigerian doctors to help in the delivery of quality service, the statistics would slightly improve to one doctor to 36,000 patients and one doctor to 16 hospital beds.

“We have been experiencing an acute shortage in medical personnel even before the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. The Ebola crisis helps to worsen the situation,” he said and added that the coming of medical expatriate from Nigeria would serve as a stop gap measure to the acute shortage of medical personnel.

He disclosed that the coming of the medical personnel was part of a two year project being funded by the World Bank to improve the country’s medical systems so as to ensure quality healthcare delivery service.

Dr. Fofanah congratulated the doctors for their decision to come and offer help and expressed fervent hope that they would use their professionalism and qualifications to deliver quality healthcare service to patients across the country.

He revealed that plans were underway to establish a paramedical school to train more health personnel to help in filling the gaps left in the sector.

Also, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo said: “We are grappling with shortage in human resource. We need to have a workforce to make the delivery of services accessible to the people. We have learnt our lessons during the Ebola crisis.”

Team Leader, Dr. Dugbor Muekara assured that they would work assiduously in delivering quality healthcare service to save humanity, especially in rural communities.