Health workforce

Action to avert an 18 million health worker shortfall announced at the 4th Human Resources for Health Forum in Dublin

Dublin, Friday November 17: The largest-ever forum focusing on health workers and global health has concluded with a series of actions to prevent a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers. These have been laid out in the Dublin Declaration, agreed to by representatives of over 70 countries who attended the Forum.

Actions include setting up of an international fund, the Working for Health Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), to support countries to expand and transform their health workforce.

Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources For Health Opens in Ireland

Calling for innovation to expand and transform the health workforce, Minister for Health, Ireland, Simon Harris TD, today officially opened the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health .

The world is facing an estimated shortfall of up to 18 million health workers by 2030, primarily in low and lower-middle income countries, while in the European region, the European Commission has estimated a potential shortfall of around 1 million health workers by 2020. This threatens efforts being made to ensure health and wellbeing for all, global security and sustainable development.

Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, 13-17 November 2017

The Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health – Building the health workforce of the future – will be held in Dublin, Ireland, from 13-17 November 2017. The Forum offers a critical platform to discuss and debate innovative approaches to avert a potential 18 million health worker shortfall and shape increasing demand for additional health and social workforce jobs. This is the largest open conference on human resources for health related issues and is expected to gather over 1,000 delegates from across the globe. The Forum is intersectoral and will bring together a range of actors across sectors such as education, health, labour/employment and finance. More information available at:

Health Workers #NotATarget

This World Humanitarian Day, we come together with the millions of people caught in armed conflict. Civilians and health workers are #NotATarget. Most health workers probably don’t think of themselves as humanitarians. But a humanitarian is someone who seeks to promote the welfare of others – and that’s exactly what health workers do every day.

Every attack on healthcare is one too many...

Ireland’s Department of Health Launches Stakeholder Consultation on Draft National Strategic Framework for Health Workforce Planning

The Department of Health is now inviting stakeholder views on the group’s draft report and framework proposals through its online consultation portal.

Working for Health: Five year action plan for health employment & inclusive economic growth adopted at the 70th World Health Assembly


The World Health Assembly today adopted a joint ILO OECD WHO five-year action plan aimed at working with countries and key stakeholders to make progress towards expanding and transforming the health and social workforce to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage, emergency preparedness and response for global health security and inclusive growth, particularly for women and youth.

Working for Health will work with countries and key stakeholders to address the global health and social workforce shortfall and generate powerful socio-economic benefits across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing to better health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5) and decent work and inclusive economic growth (SDG 8).

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