Tackling the Crisis in Human Capacity Development for Health Services


LeaderNet.orgHuman resources are central to planning, managing, and delivering health services. In most countries personnel account for a high proportion of the national budget for the health sector—often 75 percent or more. Despite the critical importance of human resources to the functioning of health systems, there have been few concerted efforts to address the severe staff shortages facing the health sector in many countries. This already serious situation has been intensified by the AIDS pandemic.

While commendable efforts have been made to improve access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries, efforts to develop the human resources required to deliver and sustain these services have lagged. The AIDS crisis, along with globalization, has worsened imbalances in the distribution of health workers.

This issue of The Manager provides a comprehensive framework for addressing human capacity development. It presents steps for developing a strategy that will help managers sustain a supply of adequately trained health staff. It examines four components of planning and managing the workforce so that appropriately trained staff are available in the right places at the right time. The issue also suggests actions managers and policymakers can take to address issues in four areas: policy and financial requirements, human resource management, partnerships, and leadership.