Govt to employ more biomedical engineers

DODOMA: THE government is working out to fill in the gaps of more than 9,000 biomedical devices and appliances engineers and technicians to cope with the increasing medical equipment in various public hospitals in the country.

Currently, the country has 350 medical engineers and technicians as the government has been working around the clock to improve health service delivery by ensuring the hospitals have the needed medical equipment.

The sentiments were issued here on Tuesday by Head of the Biomedical Services and Technician, Eng Suniva Haule during the training of the biomedical devices engineers and technicians funded by the Kotra Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH)

He said the government in collaboration with KOFIH are staging the training aimed at equipping the engineers with technical know-how and management of the devices as the government is injecting a lot of money for their purchase for improved health services.

Eng Haule said there has been an increasing number of the medical devices and appliances in district, regional, zonal and specialized hospitals, thus, the need to have engineers and technicians to manage them so that they last long is of paramount importance.

He said the government ensures that every council has at least one specialist and will keep on setting aside a budget for employment of the cadres.

Last year, Eng Haule said, the government employed 147 biomedical devices specialists and this year, 100 have been employed.

For his part, Prof Ik Keun Kim from Muhimbili National Hospital, Mloganzila Campus said the changing technological patterns in the health sector has given the operations a new look, calling upon the

trainees to be instruments for change in their services delivery in their respective hospital.

Earlier, Gloria Kim, country office coordinator KOFIH said biomedical engineering plays a vital role in quality service delivery from diagnosis to treatment.

She said KOFIH has initiated the training since 2015 to strengthen the capacity of local engineers and has trained 216 trainees, adding that this year’s training will add up to a total of 249 trainees.

KOFIH has financially supported CEOMETS training since 2015 and a total of 790,000 US dollars have been invested, this year being the highest whereas approximately 150,000 dollars will be spent for the mission.

She said KOFIH strongly believes that biomedical engineers play a pivotal role in strengthening the national health system, primary health care and ultimately in achieving universal health coverage.

“Therefore, there is an urgent need for national strategic plans, guidelines and workforce plans that reflect biomedical engineers for more efficiency in health delivery systems” said Ms Gloria

Adding “We need to think about sustainability and how to boost visibility of biomedical engineers to strengthen the Tanzania health system”.

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