The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a project to help recruit thousands of medical doctors, fresh graduates, and other health professionals in Ethiopia aiming at reducing the rising unemployment of medical professionals.
The Ministry in collaboration with development partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the regional and city administration health bureaus for a three-year long project.
According to the ministry, the project, with an initial fund of 175 million Br from a development partner The Buffett Foundation, sets a goal to employ 2,898 physicians in the first year of its implementation.
In the second and third years, the project will be supported by the federal government, city administrations, and partner development organizations to be followed by all regions taking over the project to run it with their own budgets, according to the MoH.
“It is a major step forward for the health sector as it will continue to strengthen our efforts to provide comprehensive health care coverage by employing doctors who have completed medical school after years of hard work,” said Lia Tadese, Minister of MOH speaking at the signing ceremony.
Following the directive issued by the MoH three years ago to recruit medical school graduates at the regional level, fresh graduates had become jobless due to budget constraints of the regional states.
With a doctor to patient ratio standing at one to 17,000 people in Ethiopia, which is one the lowest in the world compared to 4.5 doctor to 1,000 people recommendation of the World Health Organization, a large number of fresh graduates found themselves at the height of the problem to secure jobs paradoxically.
In 2020 alone, around 450 doctors in Amhara Regional State sent a letter to the Ministry of Health regarding the rising joblessness of medical doctors.