Springer Search: "human resources for health"
“Raising the curtain on the equality theatre”: a study of recruitment to first healthcare job post-qualification in the UK National Health Service
UK equality law and National Health Service (NHS) policy requires racial equality in job appointments and career opportunities. However, recent national workforce race equality standard (WRES) data show that nearly all NHS organisations in the UK are failing to appoint ethnically diverse candidates with equivalent training and qualifications as their white counterparts. This is problematic because workforce diversity is associated with improved patient outcomes and other benefits for staff and organisations.Aim
To better understand the reasons behind underrepresentation of ethnically diverse candidates in first NHS healthcare jobs post-qualification and to identify any structural or systemic barriers to employment for such groups.Methods
The study was informed by critical theory and the authors’ interdisciplinary perspectives as educators and researchers in the healthcare professions. Data collected from semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 12 nurse and physiotherapy recruiting managers from two NHS trusts in London were analysed using a healthcare workforce equity and diversity conceptual lens we developed from the literature. Using this lens, we devised questions to examine six dimensions of equity and diversity in the interview data from recruiting managers.Results
Recruiting managers said they valued the benefits of an ethnically diverse workforce for patients and their unit/organisation. However, their adherence to organisational policies for recruitment and selection, which emphasise objectivity and standardisation, acted as constraints to recognising ethnicity as an important issue in recruitment and workforce diversity. Some recruiting managers sense that there are barriers for ethnically diverse candidates but lacked information about workforce diversity, systems for monitoring recruitment, or ways to engage with staff or candidates to talk about these issues. Without this information there was no apparent problem or reason to try alternative approaches.Conclusion
These accounts from 12 recruiting managers give a ‘backstage’ view into the reasons behind ethnic inequalities in recruitment to first healthcare job in the UK NHS. Adherence to recruitment and selection policies, which aim to support equality through standardisation and anonymisation, appear to be limiting workforce diversity and creating barriers for ethnically diverse candidates to attain the jobs that they are trained and qualified for. The Healthcare Workforce Equity + Diversity Lens we have developed can help to ‘raise the curtain on the equality theatre’ and inform more inclusive approaches to recruitment such as contextualised recruitment or effective allyship between employers and universities.
An equity analysis on the household costs of accessing and utilising maternal and child health care services in Tanzania
Direct and time costs of accessing and using health care may limit health care access, affect welfare loss, and lead to catastrophic spending especially among poorest households. To date, limited attention has been given to time and transport costs and how these costs are distributed across patients, facility and service types especially in poor settings. We aimed to fill this knowledge gap.Methods
We used data from 1407 patients in 150 facilities in Tanzania. Data were collected in January 2012 through patient exit-interviews. All costs were disaggregated across patients, facility and service types. Data were analysed descriptively by using means, medians and equity measures like equity gap, ratio and concentration index.Results
71% of patients, especially the poorest and rural patients, accessed care on foot. The average travel time and cost were 30 minutes and 0.41USD respectively. The average waiting time and consultation time were 47 min and 13 min respectively. The average medical cost was 0.23 USD but only18% of patients paid for health care. The poorest and rural patients faced substantial time burden to access health care (travel and waiting) but incurred less transport and medical costs compared to their counterparts. The consultation time was similar across patients. Patients spent more time travelling to public facilities and dispensaries while incurring less transport cost than accessing other facility types, but waiting and consultation time was similar across facility types. Patients paid less amount in public than in private facilities. Postnatal care and vaccination clients spent less waiting and consultation time and paid less medical cost than antenatal care clients.Conclusions
Our findings reinforce the need for a greater investment in primary health care to reduce access barriers and cost burdens especially among the worse-offs. Facility’s construction and renovation and increased supply of healthcare workers and medical commodities are potential initiatives to consider. Other initiatives may need a multi-sectoral collaboration.
The determinants of staff retention after Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care training in Kenya: a cross-sectional study
Kenya’s maternal mortality ratio is relatively high at 342/100,000 live births. Confidential enquiry into maternal deaths showed that 90% of the maternal deaths received substandard care with health workforce related factors identified in 75% of 2015/2016 maternal deaths. Competent Skilled Health Personnel (SHP) providing emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) in an enabling environment reduces the risk of adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. The study objective was to identify factors that determine the retention of SHP 1 – 5 years after EmONC training in Kenya.Methods
A cross-sectional review of EmONC SHP in five counties (Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Garissa, Vihiga and Uasin Gishu) was conducted between January–February 2020. Data was extracted from a training database. Verification of current health facilities where trained SHP were deployed and reasons for non-retention were collected. Descriptive data analysis, transfer rate by county and logistic regression for SHP retention determinants was performed.Results
A total of 927 SHP were trained from 2014–2019. Most SHP trained were nurse/midwives (677, 73%) followed by clinical officers (151, 16%) and doctors (99, 11%). Half (500, 54%) of trained SHP were retained in the same facility. Average trained staff transfer rate was 43%, with Uasin Gishu lowest at 24% and Garissa highest at 50%. Considering a subset of trained staff from level 4/5 facilities with distinct hospital departments, only a third (36%) of them are still working in relevant maternity/newborn/gynaecology departments. There was a statistically significant difference in transfer rate by gender in Garissa, Vihiga and the combined 5 counties (p < 0.05). Interval from training in years (1 year, AOR = 4.2 (2.1–8.4); cadre (nurse/midwives, AOR = 2.5 (1.4–4.5); and county (Uasin Gishu AOR = 9.5 (4.6- 19.5), Kilifi AOR = 4.0 (2.1–7.7) and Taita Taveta AOR = 1.9 (1.1–3.5), p < 0.05, were significant determinants of staff retention in the maternity departments.Conclusion
Retention of EmONC trained SHP in the relevant maternity departments was low at 36 percent. SHP were more likely to be retained by 1-year after training compared to the subsequent years and this varied from county to county. County policies and guidelines on SHP deployment, transfers and retention should be strengthened to optimise the benefits of EmONC training.
Towards the achievement of universal health coverage in the Democratic Republic of Congo: does the Country walk its talk?
In 2009, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started its journey towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This study examines the evolution of financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators in the context of the commitment of DRC to UHC. To measure the effects of such a commitment on financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators, we analyse whether changes have occurred over the last two decades and, if applicable, when these changes happened. Using five variables as indicators for the measurement of the financial risk protection component, there as well retained three indicators to measure health outcomes. To identify time-related effects, we applied the parametric approach of breakpoint regression to detect whether the UHC journey has brought change and when exactly the change has occurred.
Although there is a slight improvement in the financial risk protection indicators, we found that the adopted strategies have fostered access to healthcare for the wealthiest quantile of the population while neglecting the majority of the poorest. The government did not thrive persistently over the past decade to meet its commitment to allocate adequate funds to health expenditures. In addition, the support from donors appears to be unstable, unpredictable and unsustainable. We found a slight improvement in health outcomes attributable to direct investment in building health centres by the private sector and international organizations. Overall, our findings reveal that the prevention of catastrophic health expenditure is still not sufficiently prioritized by the country, and mostly for the majority of the poorest. Therefore, our work suggests that DRC’s UHC journey has slightly contributed to improve the financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators but much effort should be undertaken.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, shortage of nursing staff became even more evident. Nurses experienced great strain, putting them at risk to leave their jobs. Individual and organizational factors were known to be associated with nurses’ turnover intention before the pandemic. The knowledge of factors associated with turnover intention during the pandemic could help to foster nurses’ retention. Therefore, this review aims to identify factors associated with nurses’ turnover intention during the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods
After a systematic search of six databases, the resulting records were screened in a two-step process based on pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The included quantitative studies were synthesized qualitatively due to their methodological heterogeneity.Results
A total of 19 articles were included in the analysis. Individual factors such as health factors or psychological symptoms and demographic characteristics were associated with nurses’ turnover intention. Organizational factors associated with turnover intention were e.g., caring for COVID-19 patients, low job control or high job demands, and moral distress. Resilience and supporting leadership could mitigate adverse associations with turnover intention.Conclusions
The results help to identify high-risk groups according to individual factors and to develop possible interventions, such as trainings for nurses and their superiors, addressing individual and organizational factors. Future research should focus on longitudinal designs applying carefully defined concepts of turnover intention.
Patient experiences and preferences for antiretroviral therapy service provision: implications for differentiated service delivery in Northwest Ethiopia
Understanding the experiences, needs, preferences, and behaviors of people living with HIV (PLHIV) are critical to tailor HIV treatment. However, there is limited empirical evidence in Ethiopia on the views of PLHIV regarding their experiences with current antiretroviral therapy (ART) services and preferred models of HIV treatment. Hence, this study aimed to explore the patients’ experiences of taking medications and preferences for ART service provision in Northwest Ethiopia.Methods
A phenomenological study design was employed. In this study, stable and 18 years old and above PLHIVs, who had been using ART service at four public hospitals and two health centers in East Gojjam, West Gojjam and Awi zones, and Bahir Dar city administration of Amhara National Regional State, Northwest Ethiopia, were purposively selected. Fifteen in-depth interviews were conducted from July 2021 to September 2021 to collect data. ATLAS.ti version 9 software was used for coding translated transcripts. A thematic analysis approach was employed.Findings
Participants in this study had reported positive and negative experiences in receiving ART services and also varied preferences toward ART service features. The study identified five themes on experiences for ART service and 15 attributes of ART service characteristics. The identified themes were stigma, time, availability of drugs and providers, costs for clinic visits, and provider-patient interaction. The fifteen attributes were buddy system, ART refill (individualized or group), ART packaging and labeling, drug formulation and administration, ART room labeling, distance, location of service, preferences on involvement in treatment decision-making, the person providing ART refills, provider’s attitude, spatial arrangement of ART room, time of health facility operation, time spent at clinics, and total cost of the visit.Conclusions
The results raise awareness for the positive and negative experiences of patients informing us about barriers and supporting factors in ART service provision. They open up the potential for HIV treatment service improvement. The preferences of PLHIVs toward ART service delivery features were heterogeneous. Policy and program efforts should tailor ART services that suit patients’ needs and priorities in Ethiopia. Future research should further assess the reasons for patients’ distrust of the community ART delivery models.
Task-shifting, the distribution of tasks among health workers to address health workforce shortage, has been widely used to tackle mental health treatment gaps. However, its implementation in Indonesia has still been rarely explored. This study aimed to explore stakeholders’ perspectives on the implementation of mental health task-shifting to nurses in Indonesia's primary health care.Methods
An exploratory descriptive approach using in-depth interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs) was used. The study involved 19 stakeholders from the government's ministry directorates, professional organisations, and mental health practitioners. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.Results
Three themes emerged namely, task-shifting feasibility and acceptability, shared task implementation, and nurse role enhancement issues, with 14 sub-themes.Conclusions
Task-shifting on mental health issues in the eye of Indonesian stakeholders is viewed as a matter of sharing and collaboration. Implementation of task-shifting in Indonesia may require policies in place and political will across stakeholders. Further scrutiny on task-shifting implementation is needed by considering the local context and national environment.
‘You say you are a TB doctor, but actually, you do not have any power’: health worker (de)motivation in the context of integrated, hospital-based tuberculosis care in eastern China
In China, tuberculosis (TB) care, traditionally provided through the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), has been integrated into ‘designated’ public hospitals at County level, with hospital staff taking on delivery of TB services supported by CDC staff. Little is known about the impact of this initiative on the hospital-based health workers who were delegated to manage TB. Drawing on a case study of two TB ‘designated’ hospitals in Zhejiang province, we explored factors influencing hospital-based health workers’ motivation in the context of integrated TB service delivery.Methods
We conducted 47 in-depth interviews with health officials, TB/hospital managers, clinicians, radiologists, laboratory staff and nurses involved in the integrated model of hospital-based TB care. Thematic analysis was used to develop and refine themes, code the data and assist in interpretation.Results
Health workers tasked with TB care in ‘designated’ hospitals perceived their professional status to be low, related to their assessment of TB treatment as lacking need for professional skills, their limited opportunities for professional development, and the social stigma surrounding TB. In both sites, the integrated TB clinics were under-staffed: health workers providing TB care reported heavy workloads, and expressed dissatisfaction with a perceived gap in their salaries compared with other clinical staff. In both sites, health workers were concerned about poor infection control and weak risk management assessment systems.Conclusions
Inadequate attention to workforce issues for TB control in China, specifically the professional status, welfare, and development as well as incentivization of infectious disease control workers has contributed to dissatisfaction and consequently poor motivation to serve TB patients within the integrated model of TB care. It is important to address the failure to motivate health workers and maximize public good-oriented TB service provision through improved government funding and attention to the professional welfare of health workers providing TB care in hospitals.
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.