Note to the media: Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

Solutions to strengthen health workforces of the future
10-13 November 2013, Recife, Brazil


Under the theme Human Resources for Health: foundation for Universal Health Coverage and the post-2015 development agenda, leaders in global health will present new evidence and innovative solutions to meet the greater demands being put on health sector workforces.

Key speakers include PAHO/WHO Regional Director for the Americas Dr Carissa Etienne; WHO Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation and Executive Director a.i., Global Health Workforce Alliance Dr Marie Paule Kieny; 40 Ministers of Health and delegates from 85 countries.

Many countries around the world are currently facing shortages of health workers, or imbalances in the types of health workers available to them, and if not corrected, these imbalances could be aggravated over the coming decades.

In a series of break-out sessions and leadership fora, over 1000 public health professionals from around the world will attempt to work out structural and financial solutions to meet the challenges facing countries as they plan their health workforce needs.

It is widely recognised that, without enough, adequately-trained health workforce personnel, countries will struggle to reach the goal of universal health coverage.

One of the key objectives of the three-day Forum will be the announcement of new political commitments for human resources for health (HRH) that will accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), along with important opportunities to place the issue higher on the global development agenda.


10 November 2013

Opening ceremony and key note address

11 November 2013

A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce - a progress report with analysis of up-to-date information on health workforce availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality, plus health workers needs for the next 20 years

WHO Guidelines on Transformative Education for Health Professional - provides guidance on pre-service education to countries experiencing health professional shortages.

12 November 2013

Moving towards UHC by optimizing skills mix: effectiveness and cost effectiveness of community-based and mid-level health workers – the evidence and the experiences of recently qualified health workers

Bulletin of the World Health Organization special edition on human resources for health featuring success stories in tackling health workforce challenges, innovative approaches and new evidence for countries.

13 November 2013

The Recife Declaration - outlining major conference decisions and outcomes.



17h00-18h00 (20h00-21h00 GMT), Monday 11 November 2013


  • Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation;
  • Dr Tim Evans, Director, Health Nutrition and Population, Human Development Network, World Bank Group;


Pernambuco Convention Center, Av. Prof. Andrade Bezerra, s/n Salgadinho, 53111-970, Recife, Brazil


  • Learning from a decade of action on HRH with respect to efforts to achieve the health-related MDGs as well as other important national and global health goals: Are we on the right track towards universal health coverage (UHC)?
  • Matching health workforce production to population needs and expectations.
  • Social needs and the regulatory role of the State.
  • Deployment, retention and management for an effective health workforce.
  • Empowerment and incentives for health personnel as we move towards UHC.
  • Exploring a forward looking agenda to make sure the health workforce is the vanguard for UHC.


A number of side events which will take place focusing on HRH planning, recruitment & retention, migration, leadership, management, occupational safety and health, roles of the private sector and civil society, community health workers, nursing and midwifery - among others.

The conference takes place at the Pernambuco Convention Center and is hosted by the Government of Brazil and organized by the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).


Glenn Thomas
WHO Communications Officer
Mobile: +41 79 509 0677

Sonali Reddy
GHWA Communications Officer
Mobile: +41 79 509 0647

Sebastian Oliel
Public Information Officer, PAHO/WHO
+1202 316 5679