Springer Search: "human resources for health"
Work-related factors affecting the retention of medical officers in the preventive health sector in Sri Lanka
Retention of human resources in the healthcare system, particularly doctors at district level is a great challenge faced by the decentralized health systems in poorly resourced countries. Medical Officers of Health (MOH), medical doctors who provide preventive health services, are a particularly important human resource in the preventive health sector in Sri Lanka. This study explores the relative importance of different factors affecting the retention of MOHs in the preventive health sector of Sri Lanka.Methods
A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among Medical Officers of Health in the Colombo district with 18 MOH Offices with 74 medical officers. A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire was used as the study instrument. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analyses.Results
Of the 74 medical officers 64 responded with a response rate of response rate of 86.5%. Regression analysis showed that all four variables; recognition, work schedule, remuneration and responsibility are positively and significantly correlated with retention of Medical Officers of Health in the preventive health sector. The variable ‘work schedule’ showed the highest impact on the retention of Medical Officers of Health.Conclusions
In order to retain trained Medical Officers of Health in the Sri Lankan preventive health sector, health authorities should address the factors identified in this study. If policymakers fail to address these factors, preventive health services will face negative implications due to the shortage of key service providers.
Community Health Workers and Stigma Associated with Mental Illness: An Integrative Literature Review
Community health workers (CHWs) are facilitators between health services and service users, providing essential and effective support to those seeking health care. However, stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness also exist among CHWs and are based on prejudicial and biasedopinions. This integrative review critically assessed evidence regarding CHWs approaches for addressing mental health issues. In total, 19 studies were included in this review. The results revealed that CHWs have limited knowledge about mental illness and also stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness or substance use problems. Despite feeling unprepared, CHWs are favorable resources for mental health care and can contribute to reducing stigma due to the similarities they share with the communities that they serve. Task-sharing between health professionals and CHWs is an important strategy to improve access to health services and reducing stigma towards people with mental illness, provided that receive adequate training to perform the duties.
The impact of training on self-reported performance in reproductive, maternal, and newborn health service delivery among healthcare workers in Tanzania: a baseline- and endline-survey
Delivery of quality reproductive health services has been documented to depend on the availability of healthcare workers who are adequately supported with appropriate training. However, unmet training needs among healthcare workers in reproductive, maternal, and newborn health (RMNH) in low-income countries remain disproportionately high. This study investigated the effectiveness of training with onsite clinical mentorship towards self-reported performance in RMNH among healthcare workers in Mwanza Region, Tanzania.Methods
The study used a quasi-experimental design with pre-and post-intervention evaluation strategy. The baseline was compared with two endline groups: those with intervention (training and onsite mentorship) and those without. The differences among the three groups in the sociodemographic characteristics were analyzed by using chi-square test for categorical variables, independent-sample t-test for continuous variables and Mann–Whitney U test for ordinal or skewed continuous data. The independent sample t-test was used to determine the effect of the intervention by comparing the computed self-reported performance on RMNH services between the intervention and control groups. The paired-samples t-test was used to measure the differences between before and after intervention groups. Significance was set at a 95% confidence interval with p ≤ 0.05.Results
The study included a sample of 216 participants with before and after intervention groups comprising of 95 (44.0%) and 121 (56.0%) in the control group. The comparison between before and after intervention groups revealed a statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) in all the dimensions of the self-reported performance scores. However, the comparison between intervention groups and controls indicated a statistical significant difference on intra-operative care (t = 3.10, df = 216, p = 0.002), leadership skills (t = 1.85, df = 216, p = 0.050), Comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEMONC) (t = 34.35, df = 216, p ≤ 0.001), and overall self-reported performance in RMNH (t = 3.15, df = 216, p = 0.002).Conclusions
This study revealed that the training and onsite clinical mentorship to have significant positive changes in self-reported performance in a wide range of RMNH services especially on intra-operative care, leadership skills and CEMONC. However, further studies with rigorous designs are warranted to evaluate the long-term effect of such training programs on RMNH outcomes.
Lessons learned from the history of postgraduate medical training in Japan: from disease-centred care to patient-centred care in an aging society
Health workers, the core of health service delivery and a key driver of progress towards universal health coverage, must be available in sufficient numbers and distributed fairly to serve the entire population. In addition, the planning and management of the health workforce must be responsive to the changing needs of society, including changes in age structure and epidemiology. Considering these issues, this paper examines in historical perspective the evolution of postgraduate medical training and practice in Japan, from the late nineteenth century to the present.Main text
When the first medical schools were established in the country towards the end of the nineteenth century, Japan was a largely agrarian society, with a population of about 30 million and an average life expectancy of 30–40 years. During the twentieth century, life expectancy and the national population continued to increase in a context of rapid economic growth. Since the 1980s, another demographic transition has occurred: low fertility rates and an aging society. As a result, the inputs and skills required from health professionals have changed considerably over time, posing new challenges to the national health sector and the management of human resources for health.Conclusions
The case of Japan offers valuable lessons for other countries experiencing a rapid epidemiological and demographic transition. To provide medical care that meets health priorities in the communities, we must consider not only the training of specialists, but also ensure the availability of a large cadre of physicians who possess basic skills and can provide patient-centred care. Furthermore, the Japanese experience shows that a highly hierarchical system and organisational culture are ill-suited to respond quickly to the changing demands of society.
Clinical ethical practice and associated factors in healthcare facilities in Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study
Clinical ethical practice (CEP) is required for healthcare workers (HCWs) to improve health-care delivery. However, there are gaps between accepted ethical standards and CEP in Ethiopia. There have been limited studies conducted on CEP in the country. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the magnitude and associated factors of CEP among healthcare workers in healthcare facilities in Ethiopia.Method
From February to April 2021, a mixed-method study was conducted in 24 health facilities, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative (survey questionnaire) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews) data were collected. For quantitative and qualitative data analysis, Stata version 14 and Atlas.ti version 7 were utilized. Multiple logistic regression and thematic analysis for quantative and qualitative respectively used.Results
From a total of 432 study participants, 407 HCWs were involved in the quantitative analysis, 36 participants were involved in five focus group discussions (FGDs), and eleven key informant interviews (KIIs) were involved in the qualitative analysis. The score of good CEP was 32.68%. Similarly, the scores of good knowledge and attitude were 33.50% and 25.31%, respectively. In the multiple logistic regression models, satisfaction with the current profession, availability of functional CECs, compassionate leaders, previously thought clinical ethics in pre-service education and good attitude were significant factors associated with CEP. Among these significant factors, knowledge, compassionate leaders, poor infrastructure, a conducive environment and positive attitudes were also determinants of CEP according to qualitative findings.Conclusions
The CEP in health care services in Ethiopia is low. Satisfaction with the current profession, functional CECs, positive attitude, compassionate leaders and previously thought clinical ethics were significant factors associated with CEP. The Ministry of Health (MoH) should integrate interventions by considering CECs, compassionate leadership, and positive attitudes and enhance the knowledge of health professionals. Additionally, digitalization, intersectoral collaboration and institutionalization are important for promoting CEP.
Assessing the contribution of immigrants to Canada’s nursing and health care support occupations: a multi-scalar analysis
The World Health Organization adopted the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health Workforce 2030 in May 2016. It sets specific milestones for improving health workforce planning in member countries, such as developing a health workforce registry by 2020 and ensuring workforce self-sufficiency by halving dependency on foreign-trained health professionals. Canada falls short in achieving these milestones due to the absence of such a registry and a poor understanding of immigrants in the health workforce, particularly nursing and healthcare support occupations. This paper provides a multiscale (Canada, Ontario, and Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks) overview of immigrant participation in nursing and health care support occupations, discusses associated enumeration challenges, and the implications for health workforce planning focusing on immigrants.Methods
Descriptive data analysis was performed on Canadian Institute for Health Information dataset for 2010 to 2020, and 2016 Canadian Census and other relevant data sources.Results
The distribution of nurses in Canada, Ontario, and Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks reveal a growth in Nurse Practitioners and Registered/Licensed Practical Nurses, and contraction in the share of Registered Nurses. Immigrant entry into the profession was primarily through the practical nurse cadre. Mid-sized communities registered the highest growth in the share of internationally educated nurses. Data also pointed towards the underutilization of immigrants in regulated nursing and health occupations.Conclusion
Immigrants comprise an important share of Canada’s nursing and health care support workforce. Immigrant pathways for entering nursing occupations are complex and difficult to accurately enumerate. This paper recommends the creation of an integrated health workforce dataset, including information about immigrant health workers, for both effective national workforce planning and for assessing Canada’s role in global health workforce distribution and utilization.
Teamwork quality and health workers burnout nexus: a new insight from canonical correlation analysis
Burnout is evidenced to have adverse effect on the well-being of health workers. Although several risk factors of burnout have been found, only a hand full of studies have examined the role of teamwork quality. This study therefore sought to explore the relationship between the sub-dimensions of burnout and teamwork quality.Method
This is an empirical study involving health workers who have practising certificate from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Relying on the study’s target population, a sample of 939 healthworkers complied to partake in the survey. Data were obtained from the administration of a well-structured electronic questionnaire containing the Maslach Burnout Inventory together with Healthy and Resilient Organization (HERO) scales correspondingly. The scales were then analysed using the canonical correlation approach (CCA).Results
The results unveiled a statistically significant correlation between teamwork quality and health worker burnout indicating that teamwork quality and burnout are canonically correlated. Further, examination on the relationship existing between the dimensions of teamwork quality and burnout unveiled that with the exception of personal accomplishment and teamwork dedication, teamwork quality sub-scales (teamwork vigour and teamwork absorption) were negatively related to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as sub-scales of burnout, respectively.Conclusion
The study concluded that, surge in teamwork quality leads to reduced emotional exhaustion and reduced depersonalization while simultaneously increasing professional accomplishment. Therefore, this study presents a solid foundation for decreasing burnout syndrome in healthcare that can be implemented by successfully increasing levels of teamwork quality.
We study convergence and divergence dynamics in a sample of euro area countries by assembling an extensive dataset that contains information on public spending and policy outcomes in a variety of areas of government intervention including education, health, and civil justice from the early 1990s. We also focus on other important determinants of a country’s economic performance such as the level of regulation of product and labor markets, as well as the trust in political institutions, quality of governance, and inequality. Results show that despite divergent economic growth in the euro periphery countries after the 2010–2012 sovereign debt crisis, the quality of services and level of regulation did not deteriorate or indeed improved, increasing convergence with the core euro countries. However, the euro area sovereign debt crisis dramatically worsened citizens’ perceptions of quality of governance, as well as the level of social trust. This calls in question the future political viability of the EMU project and asks for reform.
Investing in the health workforce is key to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. However, achieving these Goals requires addressing a projected global shortage of 18 million health workers (mostly in low- and middle-income countries). Within that context, in 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030. In the Strategy, the role of official development assistance to support the health workforce is an area of interest. The objective of this study is to examine progress on implementing the Global Strategy by updating previous analyses that estimated and examined official development assistance targeted towards human resources for health.Methods
We leveraged data from IHME’s Development Assistance for Health database, COVID development assistance database and the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System online database. We utilized an updated keyword list to identify the relevant human resources for health-related activities from the project databases. When possible, we also estimated the fraction of human resources for health projects that considered and/or focused on gender as a key factor. We described trends, examined changes in the availability of human resources for health-related development assistance since the adoption of the Global Strategy and compared disease burden and availability of donor resources.Results
Since 2016, development assistance for human resources for health has increased with a slight dip in 2019. In 2020, fueled by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it reached an all-time high of $4.1 billion, more than double its value in 2016 and a 116.5% increase over 2019. The highest share (42.4%) of support for human resources for health-related activities has been directed towards training. Since the adoption of the Global Strategy, donor resources for health workforce-related activities have on average increased by 13.3% compared to 16.0% from 2000 through 2015. For 47 countries identified by the WHO as having severe workforce shortages, the availability of donor resources remains modest.Conclusions
Since 2016, donor support for health workforce-related activities has increased. However, there are lingering concerns related to the short-term nature of activities that donor funding supports and its viability for creating sustainable health systems.
In Ethiopia, public hospitals deal with a persistent human resource crisis, even by Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) standards. Policy and hospital reforms, however, have thus far resulted in limited progress towards addressing the strategic human resource management (SHRM) challenges Ethiopia’s public hospitals face.Methods
To explore the contextual factors influencing these SHRM challenges of Ethiopian public hospitals, we conducted a qualitative study based on the Contextual SHRM framework of Paauwe. A total of 19 structured interviews were conducted with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and HR managers from a purposive sample of 15 hospitals across Ethiopia. An additional four focus groups were held with professionals and managers.Results
The study found that hospitals compete on the supply side for scarce resources, including skilled professionals. There was little reporting on demand-side competition for health services provided, service quality, and service innovation. Governmental regulations were the main institutional mechanism in place. These regulations also emphasized human resources and were perceived to tightly regulate employee numbers, salaries, and employment arrangements at detailed levels. These regulations were perceived to restrict the autonomy of hospitals regarding SHRM. Regulation-induced differences in allowances and external employment arrangements were among the concerns that decreased motivation and job satisfaction and caused employees to leave. The mismatch between regulation and workforce demands posed challenges for leadership and caused leaders to be perceived as incompetent and unable when they could not successfully address workforce needs.Conclusions
Bottom-up involvement in SHRM may help resolve the aforementioned persistent problems. The Ethiopian government might better loosen regulations and provide more autonomy to hospitals to develop SHRM and implement mechanisms that emphasize the quality of the health services demanded rather than the quantity of human resources supplied.
Factors influencing attraction and retention of frontline health workers in remote and rural areas in Nigeria: a discrete choice experiment
The policy thrust in Nigeria is to ensure qualified, skilled, and adequate health workforce to achieve universal health coverage. We designed a discrete choice experiment to determine the combinations of incentives that may increase the attraction and retention of frontline health workers. We conducted the study in Bauchi State amongst 145 students and health workers. Health workers are 14.6 and 14.4 times more likely to take up a rural posting or continue to stay in their present rural posts if there was basic housing and improvement of the quality of the facilities respectively. The preference for rural job location increased 6.17 times when good schools for children's education were provided. Ensuring availability of basic housing, improving the quality of health facilities, and ensuring good schools for children’s educations are essential factors that may support attraction and retention of health workers. These strategies will support health care services in rural areas and achieving universal health coverage.
A qualitative exploration of the contributions of Polio Eradication Initiative to the Nigerian health system: policy implications for polio transition planning
The Nigerian health care system is weak due to lack of coordination, fragmentation of services by donor funding of vertical services, dearth and poor distribution of resources, and inadequate infrastructures. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has supported the country’s health system and provided strategies and skills which need to be documented for use by other health programs attempting disease control or eradication. This study, therefore, explored the contributions of the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) activities to the operations of other health programs within the Nigerian health system from the perspectives of frontline workers and managers.Methods
This cross-sectional qualitative study used key informant interviews (KIIs) and inductive thematic analysis. Twenty-nine KIIs were conducted with individuals who have been involved continuously in PEI activities for at least 12 months since the program's inception. This research was part of a more extensive study, the Synthesis and Translation of Research and Innovations from Polio Eradication (STRIPE), conducted in 2018. The KII tool focused on four major themes: work experience in other health programs, similarities and differences between polio programs and other health programs, contributions of polio programs, and missed opportunities for implementing polio lessons. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a thematic framework.Results
The implementation of the PEI has increased health promotion activities and coverage of maternal and child health interventions through the development of tangible and intangible resources, building the capacities of health workers and discovering innovations. The presence of a robust PEI program within a weakened health system of similar programs lacking such extensive support led to a shift in health workers' primary roles. This was perceived to reduce human resources efforts in rural areas with a limited workforce, and to affect other programs' service delivery.Conclusion
The PEI has made a notable impact on the Nigerian health system. There should be hastened efforts to transition these resources from the PEI into other programs where there are missed opportunities and future control programs. The primary health care managers should continue integration efforts to ensure that programs leverage opportunities within successful programs to improve the health of the community members.
Implementing a health labour market analysis to address health workforce gaps in a rural region of India
Human Resources for Health (HRH) are essential for making meaningful progress towards universal health coverage (UHC), but health systems in most of the developing countries continue to suffer from serious gaps in health workforce. The Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health—Workforce 2030, adopted in 2016, includes Health Labor Market Analysis (HLMA) as a tool for evidence based health workforce improvements. HLMA offers certain advantages over the traditional approach of workforce planning. In 2018, WHO supported a HLMA exercise in Chhattisgarh, one of the predominantly rural states of India.Methods
The HLMA included a stakeholder consultation for identifying policy questions relevant to the context. The HLMA focused on state HRH at district-level and below. Mixed methods were used for data collection and analysis. Detailed district-wise data on HRH availability were collected from state’s health department. Data were also collected on policies implemented on HRH during the 3 year period after the start of HLMA and changes in health workforce.Results
The state had increased the production of doctors but vacancies persisted until 2018. The availability of doctors and other qualified health workers was uneven with severe shortages of private as well as public HRH in rural areas. In case of nurses, there was a substantial production of nurses, particularly from private schools, however there was a lack of trusted accreditation mechanism and vacancies in public sector persisted alongside unemployment among nurses. Based on the HLMA, pragmatic recommendations were decided and followed up. Over the past 3 years since the HLMA began an additional 4547 health workers including 1141 doctors have been absorbed by the public sector. The vacancies in most of the clinical cadres were brought below 20%.Conclusion
The HLMA played an important role in identifying the key HRH gaps and clarifying the underlying issues. The HLMA and the pursuant recommendations were instrumental in development and implementation of appropriate policies to improve rural HRH in Chhattisgarh. This demonstrates important progress on key 2030 Global Strategy milestones of reducing inequalities in access to health workers and improving financing, retention and training of HRH.
Challenges of the organizational structure of county health network in Iran: findings from a qualitative study
Primary healthcare with the right structure is the base for any highly efficient healthcare system to achieve better health outcomes at the lowest cost. Challenges of this system, including structural weaknesses, are one of the factors of inefficiency. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify challenges of the organizational structure of county health network in Iran.Methods
An exploratory qualitative face-to-face semi-structured interviews were carried out with 21 key informants including experts and managers in Ahvaz-Iran. Purposive sampling method with maximum diversity were used. Interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts were analyzed based on a thematic analysis approach via NVivo-11.Results
In analysis of the interviews, after removing the duplicate codes and merging similar items, finally 6 main challenges and 56 sub-themes were obtained. The themes of structural challenges included formalization, complexity, centralization, culture, environment, and resources.Conclusions
Based on the present situation, the challenges in the current organizational structure and a change in the goals and strategies of the healthcare system in Iran, the appropriate structure needs to be designed and implemented at different levels in accordance with the goals and strategies. The separation and independence of health centers management and hospitals (treatment) in the county can provide a basis for understanding the challenges to the provision of health services.
Improving health workforce governance: the role of multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms and human resources for health units in ministries of health
A cohesive and strategic governance approach is needed to improve the health workforce (HW). To achieve this, the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health (HRH) promotes mechanisms to coordinate HRH stakeholders, HRH structures and capacity within the health sector to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive HW agenda and regular reporting through WHO’s National Health Workforce Accounts (NHWA).Methods
Using an adapted HRH governance framework for guidance and analysis, we explored the existence and operation of HRH coordination mechanisms and HRH structures in Malawi, Nepal, Sudan and additionally from a global perspective through 28 key informant interviews and a review of 165 documents.Results
A unified approach is needed for the coordination of stakeholders who support the timely development and oversight of an appropriate costed HRH strategy subsequently implemented and monitored by an HRH unit. Multiple HRH stakeholder coordination mechanisms co-exist, but the broader, embedded mechanisms seemed more likely to support and sustain a comprehensive intersectoral HW agenda. Including all stakeholders is challenging and the private sector and civil society were noted for their absence. The credibility of coordination mechanisms increases participation. Factors contributing to credibility included: high-level leadership, organisational support and the generation and availability of timely HRH data and clear ownership by the ministry of health.
HRH units were identified in two study countries and were reported to exist in many countries, but were not necessarily functional. There is a lack of specialist knowledge needed for the planning and management of the HW amongst staff in HRH units or equivalent structures, coupled with high turnover in many countries. Donor support has helped with provision of technical expertise and HRH data systems, though the benefits may not be sustained.Conclusion
While is it important to monitor the existence of HRH coordination mechanisms and HRH structure through the NHWA, improved ‘health workforce literacy’ for both stakeholders and operational HRH staff and a deeper understanding of the operation of these functions is needed to strengthen their contribution to HW governance and ultimately, wider health goals.
Implications for health system reform, workforce recovery and rebuilding in the context of the Great Recession and COVID-19: a case study of workforce trends in Ireland 2008–2021
Workforce is a fundamental health systems building block, with unprecedented measures taken to meet extra demand and facilitate surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, following a prolonged period of austerity. This case study examines trends in Ireland’s publicly funded health service workforce, from the global financial crisis, through the Recovery period and into the COVID-19 pandemic, to understand resource allocation across community and acute settings. Specifically, this paper aims to uncover whether skill-mix and staff capacity are aligned with policy intent and the broader reform agenda to achieve universal access to integrated healthcare, in part, by shifting free care into primary and community settings.Methods
Secondary analysis of anonymised aggregated national human resources data was conducted over a period of almost 14 years, from December 31st 2008 to August 31st 2021. Comparative analysis was conducted, by professional cadre, across three keys periods: ‘Recession period’ December 31st 2008–December 31st 2014; ‘Recovery period’ December 31st 2014–December 31st 2019; and the ‘COVID-19 period’ December 31st 2019–August 31st 2021.Results
During the Recession period there was an overall decrease of 8.1% (n = 9333) between December 31st 2008 and December 31st 2014, while the Recovery period saw the overall staff levels rebound and increase by 15.2% (n = 16,789) between December 31st 2014 and December 31st 2019. These figures continued to grow, at an accelerated rate during the most recent COVID-19 period, increasing by a further 8.9% (n = 10,716) in under 2 years. However, a notable shift occurred in 2013, when the number of staff in acute services surpassed those employed in community services (n = 50,038 and 49,857, respectively). This gap accelerated during the Recovery and COVID-19 phase. By August 2021, there were 13,645 more whole-time equivalents in acute settings compared to community, a complete reverse of the 2008 situation. This was consistent across all cadres. Workforce absence trends indicate short-term spikes resulting from shocks while COVID-19 redeployment disproportionately impacted negatively on primary care and community services.Conclusions
This paper clearly demonstrates the prioritisation of staff recruitment within acute services—increasing needed capacity, without the same commitment to support government policy to shift care into primary and community settings. Concerted action including the permanent redistribution of personnel is required to ensure progressive and sustainable responses are learned from recent shocks.