Browse by Geographic Focus

Measuring Health Inequalities in Albania: A Focus on the Distribution of General Practitioners

The aim of the present study was to examine available human medical resources in primary care and identify possible inequalities regarding the distribution of general practitioners in Albania between 2000 and 2004.

Internship Workplace Preferences of Final-Year Medical Students at Zagreb University Medical School, Croatia: All Roads Lead to Zagreb

Human resources management in health often encounters problems related to workforce geographical distribution. The aim of this study was to investigate the internship workplace preferences of final-year medical students and the reasons associated with their choices. [from abstract]

Methodology for Assessing the Professional Development Needs of Nurses and Midwives in Indonesia: Paper 1 of 3

In line with government initiatives, this series of studies was undertaken to establish the training and development needs of nurses and midwives working within a variety of contexts in Indonesia, with the ultimate aim of enhancing care provision within these domains. [from abstract]

Training and Development Needs of Midwives in Indonesia: Paper 2 of 3

The current study was part of a review of the existing complex system of midwifery training in Indonesia and the development of a coherent program of continuing professional development, tighter accreditation regulations and clearer professional roles.

Training and Development Needs of Nurses in Indonesia: Paper 3 of 3

This study aimed to establish the occupational profiles of each grade of nurse in Indonesia, identify their training and development needs and ascertain whether any differences existed between nurses working in different regions or within hospital or community settings. [from abstract]

On the Front Line of Primary Health Care: The Profile of Community Health Workers in Rural Quechua Communities in Peru

The objective of this study was to describe the profile of community health workers - health promoters, traditional birth attendants and traditional healers - in rural Quechua communities from Ayacucho, Peru.

Recognising, Understanding and Addressing Performance Problems in Healthcare Organisations Providing Care to NHS Patients

Measuring, managing and improving organisational performance are key considerations for individuals and teams charged with the responsibility for leading and managing NHS organisations. These are issues that are addressed by this resource, which has been developed specifically to support managers and leaders of NHS organisations to identify and act upon signs of performance decline and failure. [from executive summary]

HR High Impact Changes: An Evidence Based Resource

This document is designed as a resource to support the 10 High Impact HR Changes as outlined in “A National Framework to Support Local Workforce Strategy Development.” These include: support and lead effective change management; develop effective recruitment, good induction and supportive management; develop shared service models and effective use of IT; manage temporary staffing costs; promote staff health and manage sickness absence; promote job and service re-design; develop and implement appraisal; involve staff and work in partnership to develop good employee relations; champion good peop

Guidelines for Development of a Health Worker Certification System

The main objective of the Ministry of Health (MOH) certification program, which will be called the Health Worker Certification System (HWCS), is to achieve a standard level of quality provided by all health workers. To achieve this level of quality it is critical that the skills of each health worker by certified through a competency-based test. This system of testing will require that all training of health workers in the future be focused on combining knowledge acquisition with hands-on competency based skills, rather than just didactic training. Refresher training and recertification will also be required in order to ensure a basic level of quality.

Community Development and Its Impact on Health: South Asian Experience

Most South Asian governments have concentrated on emulating a Western style of healthcare service, with the result that an elite few are overmedicalised whereas the majority are neglected. However, community participation in the development of local health services could provide a solution. [abstract]

Improving Motivation Among Primary Health Care Workers in Tanzania: A Health Worker Perspective

The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of health workers working in the primary health care facilities in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania, in terms of their motivation to work, satisfaction and frustration, and to identify areas for sustainable improvement to the services they provide.

Ghana Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Initiative: Fostering Evidence-Based Organizational Change and Development in a Resource-Constrained Setting

An approach to evidence-based policy development has been launched in Ghana which bridges the gap between research and programme implementation. The Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Initiative has employed strategies tested in the successful Navrongo experiment to guide national health reforms that mobilize volunteerism, resources, and cultural institutions for supporting community-based primary health care.

Low-Cost On-the-Job Peer Training of Nurses Improved Immunization Coverage in Indonesia

In Indonesia responsibility for immunizations is placed on local government health centres and on the nurses who provide the immunizations at each centre. An on-the-job peer training programme for these nurses, which was designed to improve the immunization performance of poorly performing health centres in terms of coverage and practice in Maluku province, was evaluated. [from abstract]

Increasing Immunisation Coverage in Uganda: The Community Problem Solving and Strategy Development Approach

This package includes Summary Document; Introduction to the Approach and Description of Facilitator Training; Facilitators’ Guide: Consultation I; and Facilitators’ Guide: Consultation II. The Community Problem Solving and Strategy Development (CPSSD) activities in Uganda have been designed to help health workers learn to work with communities, understand community perspectives about the services, and encourage community support and participation in the delivery of services, so that immunisation coverage is raised and sustained.

Health Workforce Development: An Overview

There have been reported shortages in both the regulated and unregulated workforce in New Zealand, in particular of medical practitioners, nurses in primary care, mental health professionals, allied and primary health professionals, Māori and Pacific practitioners, and support workers. There is also an ongoing issue of a maldistribution of workers between rural and urban locations. In the future, the constraints on labour supply in New Zealand will necessitate a much greater focus on growing the health workforce and improving the performance and productivity of the available workforce.

Reaching Every Child for Primary Immunization: An Experience from Parsa District, Nepal

A Village Development Committee Orientation organized to allow representatives of different organizations to discuss and identify causes of low coverage and high drop-out in their community. Special emphasis was placed on monitoring the immunization drop-out rate of each health facility. Indicators for VDCs have improved in 2003, and Parsa District is now regarded as one of the highest performing districts in the region.

Australia's Health Workforce: Research Report

Australia is experiencing workforce shortages across a number of health professions despite a significant and growing reliance on overseas trained health workers. The shortages are even more acute in rural and remote areas. It is critical to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the available health workforce, and to improve its distribution. This report describes the Australian government’s objectives of developing a more sustainable and responsive health workforce while maintaining a commitment to high quality and safe health outcomes. A set of national workforce objectives are also proposed.

Impact of Tuberculosis on Zambia and the Zambian Nursing Workforce

Zambian nurses have been greatly affected by the rise in the morbidity and mortality of nurses with TB. This article explains the impact of TB on the Zambian nursing workforce. Review of Zambian government programmes designed to address this health crisis and targeted interventions to reduce TB among nurses are offered. [abstract]

Dual Practice of Public Sector Health Care Providers in Peru

To explore the extent, characteristics, incentives, effects and possible regulation of private medical practice in public facilities this study undertook a cross sectional quantitative

Dual Practice by Public Health Providers in Shandong and Sichuan Provinces, China

There are four types of health providers at present in China. These are defined in terms of differences in ownership. Private practice in the health sector was reintroduced from 1980, when China began its economic reform from a planned economy to a market economy. Dual practice (DP) is quite common and a major concern from the point of view of health policy-making as little is known about it. The aim of this study was to describe policies and regulations of DP, the current situation, its impact on access to services and physician behaviour, and to provide evidence for future policy decisions.

Quality of Care in Contracted-out and Directly Provided Public Hospital Services in South Africa: Evaluation of Structural Aspects

This paper evaluates structural quality of hospital care in the context of an evaluation of contracting out district hospital services in South Africa. Three contractor hospitals, run by a private company and paid by public purchasers to provide district hospital care to a rural catchment population, were matched with three adjacent public hospitals and three private hospitals serving largely insured patients. A structured instrument was used to provide a quantitative measure of structural quality. Private hospitals scored highest overall, followed by public and then contractor hospitals.

Decentralization of Health Systems in Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the Philippines: a Comparative Analysis of Decision Space

This study reviews the experience of decentralization in four developing countries: Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and the Philippines. It uses two analytical frameworks to describe and compare the types and degrees of decentralization in each country. The first framework specifies three types of decentralziation: deconcentration, delegation and devolution. The second framework uses a principle agent approach and innovative maps of decision space to define the range of choice for different functions that is transferred from the centre to the periphery of the system. [from abstract]

Decentralization and Equity of Resource Allocation: Evidence from Colombia and Chile

Evidence from Colombia and Chile suggests that decentralization, under certain conditions and with some specific policy mechanisms, can improve equity of resource allocation. In these countries, equitable levels of per capita financial allocations at the municipal level were achieved through different forms of decentralization — the use of allocation formulae, adequate local funding choices and horizontal equity funds. Findings on equity of utilization of services were less consistent, but they did show that increased levels of funding were associated with increased utilization. This suggests that improved equity of funding over time might reduce inequities of service utilization.

Guidelines for Promoting Decentralization of Health Systems in Latin America

Both the advocates and the detractors of decentralization are probably wrong. A thoughtfully designed process of decentralization is not likely to radically improve a health system, nor is it likely to severely disrupt the system. We have evidence that a well-designed decentralization can improve equity of allocations and may have other positive effects such as increased funding of promotion and prevention. Its influence over efficiency and quality is not as clear. These guidelines suggest some mechanisms which can be effective in the design and implementation of decentralization.

Decentralization of Health Systems in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis of Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia

This comparative study evaluates the implementation of decentralization of health systems in three Latin American countries: Chile, Bolivia, and Colombia. In terms of the relationship between decentralization and system performance in general, the findings support the conclusion that both the die-hard detractors and the fervent advocates for decentralization are wrong. Decentralization appears to be improving some indicators of equity, such as a tendency toward similar per capita expenditures for wealthier and poorer municipalities, and to be associated with increased and more equitable per capita spending on promotion and prevention.

Back to Basics: Does Decentralization Improve Health System Performance? Evidence from Ceará in North-East Brazil

The objective was to examine whether decentralization has improved health system performance in the State of Ceara, north-east Brazil. Decentralization was associated with improved performance, but only for 5 of our 22 performance indicators. Moreover, in the multiple regression, decentralization explained the variance in only one performance indicator; indicators for informal management and political culture appeared to be more important influences. However, some indicators for informal management were themselves associated with decentralization but not any of the political culture indicators.

Dual Job Holding by Public Sector Health Professionals in Highly Resource-Constrained Settings: Problem or Solution?

This paper examines the policy options for the regulation of dual job holding by medical professionals in highly resource-constrained settings. It draws on the limited evidence available on this topic to assess a number of regulatory options in relation to the objectives of quality of care and access to services, as well as some of the policy constraints that can undermine implementation in resource-poor settings. [from abstract]

Retention of Health Care Workers in Low-Resource Settings: Challenges and Responses

The number of health workers employed is an indicator of a country’s ability to meet the health care needs of its people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Resource-constrained countries committed to the Millennium Development Goals are facing up to the reality that shortages and uneven distribution of health workers threaten their capacity to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as the resurgence of tuberculosis and malaria. Worker shortages are linked to three factors: 1) decreasing student enrollment in health training institutions, 2) delays or freezes in the hiring of qualified professionals and 3) high turnover among those already employed.

HRH Action Workshop: Methodology and Highlights: Planning, Developing and Supporting the Health Workforce

As a key contribution toward increasing human capacity in national health systems, the Capacity Project is hosting a series of Human Resources for Health (HRH) Action Workshops. The initial workshop—held in Johannesburg in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme/Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (UNDP/SACI)—facilitated the exchange of knowledge and best practices in planning, developing and supporting the health workforce. The three and one-half day workshop brought together 38 HRH leaders from 11 countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). Almost all of the participants are senior HRH directors or practitioners working at the operational level within the Ministry of Health in their respective countries. Two representatives from faith-based organizations also attended.

Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: Country case studies: Brazil, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, and an Additional Australian Study

The International Labour Office (ILO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Services International (PSI) launched in 2000 a joint programme in order to develop sound policies and practical approaches for the prevention and elimination of violence in the health sector. When the programme was first established and information gaps were identified, it was decided to launch a number of country studies as well as cross-cutting theme studies and to conclude by drafting guidelines to address workplace violence in the health sector.