MINISTRY of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is training more than 200 specialist doctors within and outside the country to plug manpower gaps in the country’s health sector.
Deputy Minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile told parliamentarians here yesterday that at least 236 were being trained and expected to report at their work stations in 2020.
“The ministry resolved to offer scholarships for specialist doctors each year by supporting 100 doctors to be trained within the country and an additional 10 abroad,” he said in response to a question from Kanyasu John (Geita-Urban, CCM).
With reports indicating the government is producing more doctors that it can absorb in its hospitals, the deputy minister said Tanzania had only 451 specialist doctors. He said the ministry was also considering redistributing the available specialists to ensure an equal number of doctors in each region.
“We have received 74 more doctors who were in training and now we are striving to upgrade their status before re-allocating them to areas of highest demand,” he said.
The MP had asked what action the government had taken to close the gap of doctors and medicine at public hospitals in the region. The government upgraded Geita hospital to referral level since 2017.
The deputy minister said the regional hospital received a lion’s share of medicines and other facilities from the ministry compared to other the first was Tanga, followed by Kagera.
Dr Ndugulile explained that during the financial year 2015/16, the hospital received 141.9m/- followed by 278.6m/- in 2016/17 and 368.3m/- in the financial year 2017/18.