Policy Brief: Scope for a Future of Health Workforce Initiative

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Policy Brief: Scope for a Future of Health Workforce Initiative

By: Andrew Brown, Maura Soucy Brown, and Nina Pruyn

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored just how critical a skilled and responsive health workforce is to well-functioning health systems. Evidence-based health workforce policies are critical to provide equitable and high-quality health services and to move countries toward attaining universal health coverage (UHC) and achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Too often, attention to building and sustaining a quality health workforce is limited, especially in countries experiencing population growth, increasing health needs, and economic constraints. Sadly, in many countries, enacting policies that strengthen health workforces has been slow going, leading to workforce needs worsening rather than improving over time. 

In collaboration with the Africa-Europe Foundation, MSH experts developed this policy brief and supporting documentation following a series of initial scoping interviews, two open strategy sessions, a targeted literature review, semi-structured interviews, and an online survey to engage a range of regional and global health workforce stakeholders. Using this evidence, a concept note entitled “Future of Health Workforce Initiative” is provided that defines the scope for such a project that will support the policy objectives of both African and European regional priorities and coordination mechanisms as they prepare to meet health workforce needs, both now and into the future, that align with the WHO strategic approach.