Mrs. Tripti Sinha
Sri Krishna Medical College, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India
Title: Task-sharing among Healthcare Providers: Way Forward for Quality Maternal and Neonatal Health Service Provision
Providing comprehensive care to expectant mothers during their
pregnancies, labor, and thereafter involves a gamut of skills ranging from
purely clinical medicalized hospital-based care/aspects to support services
extending right into the homes of these mothers. Clearly, it is not feasible for
one grade in the HCPs cadre to cater to the manifold needs of mothers at
different stages in their reproductive life span.
Pilot studies and program roll-out experiences in different high-income
countries(HIC) and especially middle and low-income countries(MLIC) have lent
credence to the view that redistribution/re-allocation of tasks related to maternal,
neonatal, and child health(MNCH) from the traditional pattern to a more
pragmatic re-structuring of task allocation would not only ensure a more
equitable health care access to all mothers especially in under-served areas
but also improve quality of specific services. Importantly, task sharing has
the potential to improve the standards of work performance and to reduce the physical
and mental stress levels of HCPs by decreasing their workload.
Task shifting and task sharing are two recognized models by which there
can be more efficient reach-out of health services to the as-yet underserved
populations. Although often used interchangeably, there is a program-based difference
in the concept and implementation of task shifting and task sharing as defined
In task-shifting there is complete delegation of certain well- defined
less risk-prone tasks to less specialized health workers who are more connected
to the communities and the homes of the target population.
Task sharing involves expanding the job profile and
responsibilities of additional cadres of health workers whose skills can be
upscaled by on-the-job training with resultant cost-effective program
outcomes. Other terms conveying a similar approach include skill- substitution
or task delegation with the intent of maximizing and optimizing the role of any
grade of a worker in the healthcare ecosystem.
Dr. Tripti Sinha has done her medical undergraduate studies and postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology in India. She has worked in several capacities in the state government health services both in teaching and non-teaching posts. She has more than fifteen years of teaching experience including undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology (RCOG), London and also a Clinical Examiner of MRCOG Part 3 examinations. Her journal publications and book chapters are related mainly to contraception and obstetric complications. Her subjects of special interest include contraception, adolescent gynaecology, post-menopausal health and medical education.