An assessment of human resources for health policy interventions on the performance and commitment of healthcare workers in hard to reach areas of Uganda, Karamoja region: a case of Moroto regional referral hospital.

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Akullo, Theopista
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MBA in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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In contemporary Africa, health and healthcare is one of the fundamental development aspects of most governments. Providing sound healthcare for all Ugandan citizen is a key priority for the government of Uganda. However, in Uganda there is a lack of empirical research documenting how HRH policy interventions to improve performance by government and implementing partners is affecting service delivery, and crucially its effect on healthcare workers performance and commitment in hard-to-reach areas of the country. In public service institutions, there happens to be a gap between the intention and actual practice of Performance improvement Programs, attraction and retention strategies and staff deployment. The aim is most often subjective rather than objectivity which renders the interventions void of desired results. Using Moroto Regional Referral Hospital in Karamoja region as a case study, this study empirically examined the relationship between policy interventions and healthcare workers performance and commitment, and its influence on service delivery. Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, data was collected in Uganda during 5 weeks of field work, where interviews were conducted with 5 key respondents (the hospital director and a medical officer in Moroto Referral Hospital, 2 district health officers of Nakapiripirit and Moroto districts and 1 assistant commissioner HR in the ministry of health). A survey was conducted with questionnaires distributed to a sample size of 108, and a response rate of 78.70% was attained. The study showed that policy interventions in relation to addressing healthcare workers performance and commitment is having some positive impact. However, much needs to be done and provided to enable healthcare workers carry out their work in a conducive environment. The interventions must be more distinct to fit the situations facing the healthcare workers in hard-to-reach areas with peculiar environmental consideration, general policies to address general conditions for service delivery in the entire health service system may not achieve desired levels of performance and commitment from the healthcare workers in the hard to reach areas.