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Health labour market policies in support of universal health coverage: a comprehensive analysis in four African countries

26 Sep 2014

Background:
Progress toward universal health coverage in many low- and middle-income countries is hindered by the lack of an adequate health workforce that can deliver quality services accessible to the entire population.
Methods:
We used a health labour market framework to investigate the key indicators of the dynamics of the health labour market in Cameroon, Kenya, Sudan, and Zambia, and identified the main policies implemented in these countries in the past ten years to address shortages and maldistribution of health workers.
Results:
Despite increased availability of health workers in the four countries, major shortages and maldistribution persist. Several factors aggravate these problems, including migration, an aging workforce, and imbalances in skill mix composition.
Conclusions:
In this paper, we provide new evidence to inform decision-making for health workforce planning and analysis in low- and middle-income countries. Partial health workforce policies are not sufficient to address these issues. It is crucial to perform a comprehensive analysis in order to understand the dynamics of the health labour market and develop effective polices to address health workforce shortages and maldistribution as part of efforts to attain universal health coverage.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Human Resources for Health