Bringing the Health Workforce Challenge to the Policy Agenda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses how the challenge of creating a solid and sustainable health workforce has been addressed since the adoption of the Alma-Ata Decla- ration in 1978 by member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO, 1978). As they committed to the objective of ‘Health for All’ (HfA), signatories of the declaration implicitly recognized the need to strengthen their healthcare systems and to build a workforce fit for the purpose of developing primary healthcare (PHC), made up of health workers who are suitably trained socially and technically to work as a team and respond to the health needs of the com- munity (WHO, 1978). For years, the health workforce issue has mainly been seen as one which poor countries had to deal with, but as time passed, it became clear that all countries are faced with health workforce challenges. This chapter will ask: where are we 35 years later?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave International Handbook of Healthcare Policy and Governance
EditorsEllen Kuhlmann, Robert H. Blank, Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, Claus Wendt
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-38493-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-48112-5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016


  • Health workforce
  • Universal health coverage
  • Policy entrepreneur
  • World Health Report
  • Global Forum


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