Resource Spotlight: Where Have They Gone? Using ICT to Address Health Worker Absenteeism in India
As a country, India made the decision that healthcare is a human right for all its citizens, but healthcare worker absenteeism has emerged as a major obstacle to making that vision become a reality. One major reason doctors often fail to show up is because the penalties of absence are very little—Doctors still get paid and record keeping is unreliable. The Indo-Dutch Project Management Society (IDPMS) compiled data on the problem and built an easy-to-use SMS/online platform for citizens to report and monitor absenteeism. What is groundbreaking is not the solution itself, but the process by which it emerged—a local organization studied the issue, identified a tool that could help address it, and did so with the benefit of bouncing around ideas with peer groups from other places with similar goals.
This 8 minute video highlights the solution to the problem of doctor absenteeism being deployed in the Karnataka region in southern India. When patients arrive at a primary health clinic and the doctor is absent, they can use their phones to text a central location which will record this data to allow the government to track and citizens to see which clinics are chronically understaffed. [from publisher]
View this resource.
The HRH Global Resource Center has other resources on this topic including:
- E-Health in Low and Middle-Income Countries: Findings from the Center for Health Market Innovations
- Improving Service Delivery through Measuring Rate of Absenteeism in 30 Health Centres in Tonk District of Rajasthan, India
- Holding Health Workers Accountable: Governance Approaches to Reducing Absenteeism
Past Resource Spotlights
- MHealth4CBS in South Africa: Role of Mobile Phone Technology for M&E of Community-Based Health Services
- Developing Lay Health Worker Policy in South Africa: A Qualitative Study
- Predicting the Demand of Physician Workforce: An International Model Based on "Crowd Behaviors"