Improving the Performance of the Health Workforce: from Advocacy to Action




Dussault G


Pan American Health Organization




This speech contends that a well performing workforce is the most critical determinant of the performance of services. Well functioning infrastructures and equipment do not serve if the people who deliver the services are not there (be it that there are none available, that they are absent from work, or that they are on strike). Well trained health workers, without the appropriate tools and supplies cannot do much either. And even when all ingredients are there, if workers are not motivated, services underperform. Advocacy to convince policy and decision-makers, as well as international agencies and donors to do something to improve the performance of the health workforce (HW) has been fervent these last 3-4 years, and it has been quite successful. This has created an opportunity that cannot be missed, and now the challenge is to move from advocacy to action. [adapted from author]


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