The Lancet: Human resources for health

A letter in this week’s issue of The Lancet, led by Judith Shamian (President, International Council of Nurses), says that governments have made substantial investments in the health workforce, but that these investments have focused on the numbers of skilled health workers (ie, midwives, nurses, physicians, and community health workers) without any investigation into the health needs of the population, the quality and efficiency of the health workforce, and the resulting requirements of the health system’.

I would be interested in thoughts from HIFA members, especially those working in HRH. Do you agree that there is too much focus on quantity of health workers at the expense of understanding needs, improving quality and efficiency, and other aspects of health system strengthening?

If so, what could be done about it? The authors suggest several actions: ‘dialogue and collaborative work between all levels in the health system; use of evidence to inform interprofessional education and practice strategies to support collaborative, community-based health care;…’

The full text is freely available here:

Human resources for health: a new narrative

Judith Shamian, Gail Tomblin Murphy, Annette Elliott Rose, Lianne Jeffs

The Lancet 2015;386:25 4 July 2015

Best wishes, Neil

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