Authors: Eunice Okyere, Paul Ward and Lillian Mwanri
Task shifting, the process whereby tasks are delegated to less-specialised cadres of health workers has been used across countries including Ghana as a means to address health workers shortage, thereby improving access to health care but there have been various arguments regarding its efficiency, practicality and the mode of operation. This study aims to assess the extent of task shifting in managing the inadequate health workers in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Quality inquiry approach (in-depth interviews and document review) was used to collect data from 68 health workers which was analysed using thematic analyses approach. The findings indicate that task shifting is practiced among health workers in the study area. Though generally, some respondents were trained before additional tasks are handed to them, in some cases, health workers engage in tasks above their level of training. Also, whilst others perceived additional tasks an opportunity to learn new skills, others described it as stressful and overload of work. Task shifting could contribute to address the inadequate health workforce if well organised.
Keywords: Task shifting, health workers shortage, health centre, rural areas, Ghana.