Health workforce

One attack on a health worker is one too many – WHO Comment in the Lancet


"Even one attack on health care is too many. Consistent data collection, advocacy with zero tolerance, and the promotion of concrete measures to prevent attacks are priority actions. Substantial health needs continue to be unmet and resources to support and strengthen the health workforce and health system in complex emergencies are stretched to the limit. WHO looks forward to working with all stakeholders to accelerate progress”.

Published Online March 14, 2017 - The Lancet

Zero discrimination in health - care

1 March 2017, Geneva – An effective and integrated health system that is based on the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination, transparency, accountability and participation is at the heart of the right to health. As we celebrate Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS and WHO are calling for the elimination of discrimination in health care settings which prevents people from accessing and delivering essential health care services.

Health Workforce at the 140th Executive Board

WHO/C Black

The 140th Session of the WHO Executive Board (EB), convening in Geneva this week, welcomed the report of the United Nations’ High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2016. It has requested the WHO Director-General, in collaboration with ILO and OECD, to finalize and submit the five year action plan (2017/2021) supporting country driven implementation of its recommendations, for adoption at the 70th session of the World Health Assembly in May 2017

UN Secretary-General's Message on the Report of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth


Changing populations will generate a demand for 40 million new health worker jobs by 2030. However, most of these jobs will be created in wealthier countries. Without action, there will be a global shortfall of 18 million health workers to achieve and sustain universal health coverage, primarily in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

In response to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/183 on ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy: Strengthening the Management of International Health Crises’ on the 17 December 2015, I established the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth on 2 March 2016 (the “Commission”) and tasked it to propose solutions to this global challenge...

High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Health Employment and Economic Growth concludes with bold commitments to action highlighting increased investments in the health workforce

Geneva, 15 December 2016 - A two day High-level Ministerial Meeting convened by World Health Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Labour Organisation has concluded in Geneva with bold statements committing to action to implement the recommendations of the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Twenty-eight statements were presented from governments, professional associations, civil society and the private sector, highlighting increased investments in the health workforce at the national, regional and global levels. At the same time, the 71st session of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution 'Global Health & Foreign Policy: Health Employment & Economic Growth’. The resolution is a clear mandate for Member States to adopt and act upon the Commission’s recommendations.

High-Level Commission

Upcoming events

14 March 2017

Investing in the Health and Social Workforce: Maximizing Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment,
New York - USA

14 to 16 March 2017

Health workforce consultation meeting for Francophone countries on National Health Workforce Accounts, labor market analysis
Dakar - Senegal

Health workforce and the Sustainable Development Goals – an infographic

The power of health workers

Contact us

Health Workforce Department
World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Tel: +41 22 791 2542
Fax: +41 22 791 4747