Health workforce

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The health workforce is central to managing and delivering health services in all countries. The ability of health systems to perform well and respond appropriately to the new challenges they face is strongly influenced by the availability of health workers with relevant skills, in sufficient numbers, located where they are needed, and working in an environment that motivates and engages them.

Recent global and regional efforts, including the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, have reiterated the positive economic impact of the health workforce and the continued urgency of addressing health workforce challenges. These include shortages, imbalances, mismatches between education models and health needs, and productivity concerns.

In this respect, strengthening the workforce is essential to ensuring that health systems can achieve national and global health goals. It is critical that countries develop policies that ensure the availability of enough health workers with the relevant skill mix, competencies and motivation to provide health services to their populations.

In September 2017, the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, building on the Tallinn Charter and a number of other resolutions, endorsed resolution EUR/RC67/R5 addressing health workforce policies in the WHO European Region. The Regional Committee highlighted the consensus that exists on the prevailing global crisis in human resources for health, the responsibilities of Member States for the development of their national health workforce policies and plans, and the continued need for collective efforts to tackle international migration.