Human resources for health

Regional Situation Summary

The effectiveness of the Health sector depends on how human resources are developed and used. Health workers are important for the advancement of health and the quality of health care in achieving the health related Millennium Development Goals. However, decades of cost-cutting, poor salaries and under-investment in education and training have led to critical shortages of health workers in many countries.

All countries in the region have been encouraged to steadily increase their human resources capabilities and capacities to provide effective health services and to improve planning and management in the allocation of resources to support the trained workforce. Countries are being encouraged to use modern methodologies and improved technology to ensure all health professionals adopt the appropriate approaches in the provision of health services and are thus able to meet changing challenges.

The Regional Strategy on Human Resources for Health 2006 – 2015 provides member countries with policy options and practical guidance in developing and sustaining health forces that enhance health systems performance, service quality and improved health outcomes.