Chapter 13: Key considerations in health workforce planning
Open access

Health workforce planning can address current workforce challenges and prevent future crises. In well-functioning health systems, planning supports alignment of health workforce supply, distribution, mix and performance with population health needs. Planning exercises adopting leading practices described in this chapter are evidence informed, needs-based, multi-professional, mixed methods, locally relevant, iterative, interactive, and robust against uncertainty. Recognizing the structural and political, data-related, and methodological challenges associated with the application of leading practices, this chapter outlines frontiers in planning, along with opportunities related to data, tools, capacity, and engagement. The integration of theoretical foundations into planning exercises can enhance the practical value of planning and its capacity to support improved population health, enhanced care experience, reduced costs, workforce well-being, and health equity outcomes. Ultimately, more attention to health workforce planning is necessary to promote efficient and effective functioning of health care systems, the sustainability of the health workforce, and optimal patient care outcomes.

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