Call for papers, September 2017 special issue – Deadline for submission: 31-01-2017

Public Health Panorama calls for the submission of papers for a special issue on "Towards a sustainable health workforce". This issue will be published in September 2017 in conjunction with the agenda item entitled “Towards a sustainable health workforce in the WHO European Region: a framework for action”, which will be considered at the 67th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

Towards a sustainable and well-performing health workforce

A sustainable and well-performing health workforce is the backbone of an effective health system. It ensures that health services respond appropriately to population health needs and is integral to the quality of care and performance of the health system. Enhancing the health workforce is therefore a key foundation for the achievement of health systems strengthening priorities in the WHO European Region, as set out in Health 2020: a European policy framework and strategy for 21st century, published in 2013. 

This special issue of Public Health Panorama aligns with the four objectives of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: workforce 2030, which was unanimously adopted by Member States at the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in May 2016. The European framework for action towards a sustainable health workforce seeks to translate and to reinforce these objectives in the Region-specific context, Region-relevant policy options and implementation modalities. The framework builds on evidence accumulated in the Region in recent years. It will be further supported by a collection of peer-reviewed papers that present successfully implemented health workforce policies and actions at the national, subregional and regional levels in line with the following global strategic objectives:

  • to optimize the performance, quality and impact of the health workforce through evidence-informed policies on human resources for health (HRH);
  • to align investments in HRH with the current and future population needs, taking account of labour market dynamics and education policies; to address shortages and improve distribution of health workers;
  • to build the capacity of institutions at the subnational, national, regional and global levels for effective public policy stewardship. leadership and governance of actions on human resources for health; and
  • to strengthen data on HRH.

As highlighted in the report of the United Nations High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, launched during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, a well-supported and well-aligned health workforce contributes to broader socioeconomic development with positive spillover effects on the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including education, gender equality and the promotion of decent employment opportunities and sustainable economic growth.

Call for papers

Against this backdrop and with the aim of supporting governments at various levels in their efforts towards the development of a sustainable health workforce through implementation of relevant and effective policies and plans, Public Health Panorama invites papers that take an evidence-informed approach and examine issues relevant to the Region, such as:

  • how health workforce planning and optimizing the skill mix can be effectively aligned with public health priorities and policy development in the national and international contexts; 
  • how new technologies such as e-health solutions can change and shape the way that the health workforce delivers services across disciplines and settings;
  • how investment in HRH can trigger broader socioeconomic development;
  • trends in health labour markets and policy priorities to address the health workforce in the national context;
  • good practice results on effective retention strategies for different health settings, taking into account health systems challenges such as limited financial and human resources;
  • successfully implemented policies and strategies related to institutional capacity-building for effective public policy stewardship, leadership and governance of actions on HRH (at the subnational, national and/or regional levels);
  • good practice results in transforming health professional education to align with changing population health needs, including defining the role of accreditation of medical education; and
  • the impact that a skilled health workforce has on patient safety and quality of care.

Guidelines for submitting papers

We invite papers that showcase examples and research results from the WHO European Region and beyond intended for policy-makers, planners, researchers, public health specialists, clinicians, educators, civil society and other interest groups working on health workforce-related issues. Priority will be given to papers that describe outcome-oriented approaches, successful practices, innovative solutions and lessons learned. In particular, we seek and welcome papers that document experiences in low-resource and transitional economies. Manuscripts may be submitted in either English or Russian, and accepted papers will be published in both languages.

The deadline for submission is 31 January 2017. Authors should follow the guidelines for submission of manuscripts to Public Health Panorama and mention this call for papers in a covering letter. All submissions will undergo peer review. For further queries, please contact