Flagship course on human resources for health (HRH)

29 September–1 October 2015, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

The Turkmenistan Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and WHO/Europe will convene this course that aims to provide technical and methodological assistance to the Ministry and other participants on assessing, forecasting and planning the country's health workforce needs.

Trainers for the course will be:

  • Thomas Bossert, Director of International Health Systems Program, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Massachusetts, United States of America);
  • James Buchan, Honorary Professor, School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh, United Kingdom); Adjunct Professor, University of Technology Sydney (Australia); and
  • Konstanty Radziwill, Ph.D. Secretary General, Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists (Warsaw, Poland).

The course is designed to provide participants with new and innovative ways of addressing health workforce policy, planning and management issues. It presents the diagnostic instrument and conceptual framework, which was developed to inform policy-makers on human resources for health, to ensure better understanding of the health workforce context for improving the performance of health systems. The tool can serve as a guide in the development process of national health workforce strategies. The course provides an opportunity for participants to learn about models and tools for health workforce planning used in European countries.

Presentation, panels and group work to take place during event include:

  • the WHO/Europe approach to health systems strengthening, and regional trends and policy options in HRH
  • panel on the HRH situation and country strategy
  • introduction to the HRH framework, strategic planning and capacity assessment tool
  • an understanding of labour market dynamics
  • projection of HRH needs and the HRH planning process
  • assessment of financial, educational and management capacities and leadership
  • group work on HRH densities and distribution
  • ways to improve HRH performance: financial and non-financial incentives
  • regulation of health professionals
  • governance in HRH
  • an expert panel with questions and answers.


Enhancing the health workforce is one of the foundations of health systems strengthening. In 2012, the Turkmenistan Government approved a national health development strategy for 2012–2016. Health care provision has undergone substantial changes since the health care sector reform came into effect. The Ministry is putting forth efforts to build technical capacity in the area of human resources for health. The flagship course was included in the biennial collaborative agreement as an activity between the Ministry of Health in Turkmenistan and WHO/Europe (2014–2015).