Ian Couper

Mammoth task to clear murky picture of public health staff needs

THE government spends almost 60% of its health budget on personnel, yet cannot say precisely how many cardiologists, pediatricians or physiotherapists work for the state because of weaknesses in its data systems.

The picture gets even murkier when it comes to the private sector, as the professional councils that register doctors, nurses and other health workers do not record where people work, and whether they have emigrated or retired. The lack of accurate figures has hamstrung the public sector’s ability to manage staff, so getting a better handle on the data is a key aspect of the draft human resources strategy released by the Department of Health last week, says director- general Precious Matsoso.

Doctors' Visits to Clinics

This article is an opinion piece discussing issues pertaining to the doctors' visits to primary health care clinics. Although the article was written a few years ago, the challenges it discusses are still with us. The article offers suggestions on what the doctor ought to do during his/her visit. In addition the article can be used to facilitate discussions on improving the doctor's clinic visit. It makes a good reading for the new doctors who are inspired to do well during their clinic visits and it would most likely stimulate discussions among the experienced doctors and nurses. We hope you will find the article valuable and that it can contribute to improving your clinic.

SINK OR SWIM? A workshop for the burning out doctor in rural practice

You are invited to join a half weekend retreat-type workshop aimed at providing doctors with time out and an enjoyable, non-pressurised, experiential sharing of issues around coping with brownout or burnout, and the stress of coping with caring for others. We will look at our own strengths and weaknesses and at knowing ourselves better. Come and fail in good company!

Evaluation of Manguzi hospital

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In September of 1995 the Medical Superintendent of Manguzi hospital, Dr. Ian Couper, contacted the Health Systems Trust asking for assistance in conducting an evaluation of the health services delivered by Manguzi hospital. Dr. Couper felt that an objective look at the hospital was needed in light of future changes with the District Health System. He observed that the hospital was clearly committed to primary health care yet its objectives were implicit, not explicit. It was also perceived that staff, for unknown reasons, were not firmly committed to the future of Manguzi hospital. Most importantly Dr. Couper wanted recommendations on how a common vision for Manguzi hospital could be realised.