Strengthening health workforce to strengthen health systems
The 2006 World Health Report identified 57 countries facing a health workforce crisis. Each of these countries has fewer than 23 health workers (doctors, nurses, midwives) per 10 000 people - the minimum required to achieve an 80% coverage rate for deliveries by skilled birth attendants or for measles immunization. In March 2008, the First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Kampala, Uganda, issued twelve calls for urgent action to strengthen the health workforce in the 57 crisis countries.
Two years later, when the UN Secretary General launched his Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, he highlighted the need for stronger health systems, with sufficient skilled health workers at their core. In January 2011, the Second Global Forum on Human resources for Health in Bangkok, Thailand focused on the progress made since Kampala through selected but concrete examples of global and country actions as well as the sharing of knowledge and experiences.
WHO is ...
- promoting adherence to the Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
- supporting countries in implementing the WHO recommendations on increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention.
- working with partners to develop policy guidelines and implementation platforms to steer the transformative scale-up of health workforce education and training.
- working with professional organizations and key partners within the Global Health Workforce Alliance to promote stronger leadership at all levels.
- helping to improve social accountability frameworks, for example by encouraging health professional education and training institutions to focus on quality and relevance.
- supporting countries in implementing the WHO guidelines on task-shifting so that they can increase the contributions made by community and mid-level health workers.
- supporting regional and national HRH observatories to promote evidence-based decision-making and enhance shared learning.