HSRU faces acute shortage of experts


KARACHI: The Health Sector Reform Unit (HSRU), a Project of Health Department Sindh, is facing acute shortage of experts and all reforms activities have also slowed down, it was learned on Tuesday.

An official of health department Sindh on condition of anonymity said Health Sector Reform Unit of Health Department Sindh was established in 2011 and Unit was made functional in March 2012. The major aim of HSRU establishment to resolve the matter pertaining to 18th Amendment, planning and implementation. Sources said Unit has not made the part of health department so far.

He said PC-1 of this project comprises three-year which would be end on June 2015 but the provincial authorities could not take decision about extension this project yet.

Former Health Minister Sindh Dr Sagheer Ahmed inaugurated the Health Sector Reform Unit. The experts hired were on contract basis for Unit. Source said there are four posts of coordinators who worked under chief coordinator, while 16 other employees also recruited for this project. He said HSRU team did some good work in resolving the matter pertaining to 18th amendment, planning and implementation but after change of health minister reforms activities had slowed down.

He said currently Deputy Secretary Health Dr Nadeem Sheikh had given additional charge of chief coordinator HSRU, while no permanent chief coordinator had been appointed in Unit. He said two posts of coordinators are lying vacant, while Dr Munwar and Dr Tariq Memon are performing their duties as coordinators.

He said officials of Health Sector Reform Unit had devised Health Sector Strategy for 2012-2018 which considered master plan for health department. Initially, implementation of strategy would have been done in two phases. Ex-Secretary Health Iqbal Hussain Durrani had approved the first phase of plan and policy also made in this regard.

Source said HSRU team had devised human resources strategy, communication strategy, necessary drug list, necessary delivery package and other important strategies. The data collection of 55,000 health employees has been under process. The HSRU had also done pilot project in three Rural Health Centers in beginning of project.

Despite good performance in limited resources, health department Sindh could not take decision about extension of project, while project is also facing acute shortage of experts which slowed down reform activities. The future of eight-year master plan is hanging in the balance.

Deputy Secretary Health Dr Nadeem Sheikh, when contacted, said, “He was assigned power by health department only for the salaries of employees on temporary basis and he had no link with Health Sector Reform Unit as post chief coordinator is lying vacant.”

Special Secretary, Public Health (Sindh), Dr Khalid Sheikh was not available for comment on cell .

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