Resource Spotlight: Task Shifting to Tackle Health Worker Shortages
Countries all around the world have made significant progress in scaling up HIV services. Nevertheless, major barriers must be overcome if universal access is to be achieved. One of the main constraints is a serious shortage of health workers—the people on the front line of the efforts to prevent and treat HIV infection.
Task shifting is the name now given to a process of delegation whereby tasks are moved, where appropriate, to less specialized health workers. By reorganizing the workforce in this way, task shifting can make more efficient use of the human resources currently available. For example, when doctors are in short supply, a qualified nurse could often prescribe and dispense antiretroviral therapy. Further, community workers can potentially deliver a wide range of HIV services, thus freeing the time of qualified nurses.
Adapted from author.
View this resource.
The HRH Global Resource Center has other resources on this topic including:
- Health Workforce Innovations: a Synthesis of Four Promising Practices
- Incorporating Lay Human Resources to Increase Accessibility to Antiretroviral Therapy: a Home-Based Approach in Uganda
- Potential of Private Sector Midwives in Reaching Millennium Development Goals
For additional resources on this topic, visit the Task Shifting subject category.
Past Resource Spotlights
- Where Have All the Workers Gone? The Extent of the Global Healthcare Worker Shortage, Why Workers are Leaving and Some Strategies for Addressing the Crisis
- Guideline for Incorporating New Cadres of Health Workers to Increase Accessibility and Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy
- Human Resources for Health Planning and Policies for Sierra Leone