Head of Civil Service advocates for more support from health development partners to boost the health sector
Freetown, Mar. 17, 016 (MOHS) – The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest Surrur has called on health development partners to support the health sector ever than before.
Cross section of participants
Delivering his keynote address at the Health Sector Performance Report Annual Review Meeting for 2015 organised by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at the Catco International Hotel conference hall in Freetown, Dr. Surrur noted the part played by health development partners during the outbreak and appealed to them for more support in the Post Ebola era as health is critical to the development of the nation.
Dr. Ernest Surrur delivering his keynote address
He acknowledged the invaluable support from partners, describing them as a catalyst that would help compliment government’s efforts towards the Agenda for Prosperity and reminded staff of the Health Ministry that accountability and transparency are paramount in the discharge of their duties as public servant for effective service delivery in 2016.
Commenting on the ethics and code of conduct of some health workers, Dr. Surrur expressed disappointment over the behavior of some of them stressing the need for a change of attitude. Patients, he said needs loving tender and care and reiterated the need for health care providers to be compassionate in handling patients and their relatives in seeking health.
He described the period under review as a historic moment, adding that the challenges experienced must be critically looked at for the necessary correction towards achieving the desired goal of the Ministry’s Performance Contract noting that government has identified Performance Contract as a flagship project.
Dr Surrur dilated on other key issues relating to human resource development in the Civil Service which includes staff promotion, demotion, dismissal, Individual Performance Appraisal System and devolution of authority to District Health Management Teams.
The Chairman, Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Health, Hon Abdulai Sesay underscored the importance of a work plan and the evaluation of activities in the work plan, looking at the challenges, weaknesses, failures and success story with a view to striving for excellence.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer 1, Dr. Sarian Kamara commended staff of the Ministry for the review meeting, stating that the 6-9 months plan of the Ebola virus disease Recovery Plan is ongoing, and will end in March, to be followed by the 10-24 months Recovery Plan, thanking the district stakeholders for their support during the implementation of the early recovery plan.
She reminded her audience that the meeting aims at stock taking their performances in 2015, adding that it was very challenging but they did very well in defeating the outbreak and restored essential health services in all facilities. She noted that as they showcase their performance in the previous year with the next three days, they should not forget that much is needed to make the desired improvement of the health sector in 2016 and beyond.
The Chairman, Sierra Leone Health Service Commission (SLHSC), Dr. Bundu Kamara said the establishment of the Sierra Leone Health Service Commission is based on a provision in Section 152 Sub-section 10 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. This, he said gives the Public Service Commission (PSC) the authority to delegate powers to any public office in the interest of effective and efficient performance of its functions.
He informed participants that the justification of the establishment of the Commission was based on the acute shortage of skilled health manpower which compromised the quantity and quality of health service delivery especially to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five.
Dr. Bundu Kamara said the Commission is geared towards fast tracking the process of recruiting health manpower to meet with the challenges of delivering quality healthcare to the people of Sierra Leone, thereby improving in health statistics relating to infant and maternal morbidity and mortality rate.
He disclosed that since 2013 to date, the Commission has recruited 1, 463 health professionals who are now involved in the delivery of health care throughout the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Chairman for the occasion, Mr. David Banya described the Annual Review Meeting as a yearly exercise of stock taking in the operations of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
He noted that comprehensive review of the work of the Ministry was done in 2015, pointing out that a performance review is necessary for an institution because it provides the opportunity to identity and openly discuss the achievement and challenges in implementation of the mandate of the institution. He admonished the staff of the Ministry to continue to galvanized effort to push the Ministry into excellence by providing prompt, effective and efficient healthcare delivery to all Sierra Leoneans.
The Review meeting attracted District Medical Officers, District Council Chairmen, Chief Administrators, Medical Superintendents and health development partners among other stakeholders.