Examining scope and limitations Social Work Practice in Health Care Setup, the Case of Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The need for extending medical social work practice in health care services in holistic approach is the call of the day, as regular medical services alone will no more meet the ever complicating demands of ill peoples. Hence, the purpose of the study is to examine scope and limitations of Medical Social Work Practice in the case of Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa. exploratory study approach of a qualitative method were used to discover the current scope of social work practice. A total of 16 respondents were selected through purposive sampling which includes medical professionals, social workers and management staffs. An in depth interview, observation and document review were used as a main data collection tool. Thematic analysis was used to give a meaning the data gathered from participants. In the end, the following results were pursued: the medical professionals and the management sect found lacking awareness on the social as well as psychological treatment need of the beneficiaries, even the social workers considering their work be focusing on the social aspect like enabling poor people to get the benefit of free health service and sometimes to work for such people to gain economical support. Even this practice goes as such in very limited scope while they are anticipated to take their part in delivering of the integrated bio psychosocial service in its wider scope that is inclusive of the psychological and social demands of service seekers. On the other hand, social work practitioners among the respondents mention many barriers like absence of proper standard of practice, updated job description that reflects their anticipated duties and responsibilities and limited resource. Therefore, reviewing, modification and strengthening of hospital medical social work practice to the level that it plays its role to enable holistic health care service, supported by stronger polices, creating awareness, empowering related practitioners and enlarging the scope in multifaceted manner is recomended. Key Words: social work, practice, scope, barriers, policy, holistic.



Social work, practice, scope, barriers, policy, holistic