Regional Strategy on Human Resources for Health 2006–2015

         The Regional Committee,

         Recalling resolutions WPR/RC35.R4 on health manpower development and WPR/RC39.R9 on the reorientation of health personnel, both intended to support the attainment of the goal of health for all, including primary health care;

         Further recalling resolutions WHA57.19 and WHA58.17 on the international migration of health personnel, and resolutions WHA59.23 on the rapid scaling up of health workforce production and WHA59.27 on the strengthening of nursing and midwifery;

         Noting that an adequate, competent, productive, responsive and supported health workforce is critical for advancing health, for effective and efficient health system performance, and the quality of care, as well as for achieving health-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals and for scaling up effective health interventions;

         Recognizing that many countries and areas need immediate and sustained long-term action to address such problems as workforce shortages; low salaries; poor working conditions; a lack of adequate incentives; skill mix and distribution imbalances; a weak health workforce knowledge base; and a lack of expertise that hampers planning, policy development and management;

         Acknowledging The World Health Report 2006: Working together for health key messages that educated and well-trained health workers save lives; that workers must be supported and protected; that new strategies are needed to enhance the effectiveness of the health workforce; and that national leadership and global solidarity can result in significant improvements in all countries,

1.     ENDORSES the Regional Strategy on Human Resources for Health 2006–20151, as a guide for policy development and implementation according to national contexts;

2.     URGES Member States:

(1) to establish or strengthen national governance and management mechanisms to develop reliable workforce data and evidence for policy-making, planning, monitoring and evaluation purposes, and ensure that health workforce planning and development are integral parts of national development and health sector planning;

(2) to use the Strategy as a framework for developing and strengthening country-specific human resources for health policies, approaches and strategic actions where appropriate;

(3) to improve retention and motivation of health workers to respond to national needs through intersectoral collaboration and support from development partners by providing adequate remuneration, appropriate incentives, better workplace environments, regular supervision, increased training and education, and sufficient supplies and logistical support;

(4) to explore and use, in collaboration with partners and regional and global alliances, feasible innovative approaches to address national, subregional and regional human resources for health issues;

3.     REQUESTS the Regional Director:

(1) to support Member States in strengthening their human resources for health capacity using the Regional Strategy as a guide where appropriate and to provide needed technical support in policy options, tools and guidelines;

(2) to ensure that human resources for health remains a priority programme of WHO in the Region within the context of overall health systems strengthening, and that health interventions and specific disease control programmes such as EPI, HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB contribute towards the strengthening of national health workforce capacity;

(3) to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, information, experience and evidence in effective health workforce development and management among Member States and partners, and to strengthen the knowledge base and national capacity for workforce policy development, planning and management;

(4) to advocate with national stakeholders, development partners, international agencies and all relevant programmes within WHO for more effective investments in health workforce development and better resource coordination, and to facilitate the implementation of the Regional Strategy on Human Resources for Health 2006–2015;

(5) to report back to the Regional Committee on the implementation of the Strategy.

1 Annex to document WPR/RC57/9.

22 September 2006

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