Human resources for health coordination mechanism: Implications on staff establishment and policy in the Ministry of Health, Kenya
Nyaboga, Joyce Mosinya
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Human Resource for Health (HRH) is considered as a critical ingredient of any health system. Despite this, there exist critical HRH challenges in Kenya as demonstrated by the gaps in the staff establishment and HRH policy. HRH coordination mechanisms are continually becoming recognized globally as a strategic system in contributing to scaling up human resources for health staffing establishment and policy. It is against this that the study on the implications of the HRH coordination mechanism on staff establishment and policy in the Ministry of Health, in Kenya was conducted. This study was motivated by recent industrial unrest experienced in the health sector in Kenya coupled with a critical shortage of health workers in the Ministry of Health especially in the hard to reach areas. Specifically the study sought to establish the effect of HRH coordination structures and capacity building on policy and staff establishment. It also sought to establish the contribution of HRH coordination actors and the leadership of the HRH coordination on staff establishment and policy. A conceptual framework was used. Functionalism and contingency theory guided the study. Descriptive research design was applied. Stratified and purposive sampling was used to select the study respondents. Primary and secondary data collection methods were applied. Data collected was tabulated, coded and analyzed for purpose of clarity, using Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS). Descriptive statistics including means, standard deviations, frequency counts, percentages was used to analyze the data. Data was presented using tables, and pie charts to make them reader friendly. Literature on the framework of the HRH coordination mechanism, leadership, HRH actors and capacity building was reviewed. The study established that the HRH Coordination structure has an implication on policy and staff establishment in the Ministry of Health. The study further established that the HRH actors contribute both technically and financially on policy and staff establishment issues. Further the study also revealed that the HRH actors do participate in joint planning with the Ministry of Health. The findings of this study have provided useful recommendations on stakeholder coordination towards addressing HRH challenges at the National and County level. The study findings revealed that the leadership of the HRH coordination have an effect on staff establishment and policy together with capacity building interventions initiated by I' the HRH coordination mechanism. The study concluded that HRH coordination mechanism has an implication on policy and staff establishment. The study recommends for increased investment on capacity building to scale up HRH production and instituting proper systems to avoid duplication of capacity building efforts. Further it recommends the need to strengthen HRH leadership at all levels.