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 ¨In the Region, only Canada and the United States possess a public health competency framework that enables them to understand the competency gap to facilitate implementation of the primary health care strategy and health workers’ performance of the essential public health functions. Moreover, few countries have competency frameworks that make it possible for them to document critical gaps. The first exercises to measure regional goals 3, 8, and 15, conducted in the Andean countries using key informants and groups of experts, suggest a troubling situation with respect to the public health and intercultural competencies of primary health care teams, and the management competencies of service and program managers.¨ 12

The Regional Observatory of Human Resources for Health (HRH) is a cross-sector initiative among the countries of the Americas Region.  The Observatory collaborators produce information and evidence to inform policy decisions and to improve health systems through health human resources development.  The name “Observatory” must not be understood as a place or passive state of observation, but rather it is gathering of partners, stakeholders and governments around solid research, shared experiences, knowledge transfer, and advocacy. 

Five Challenges that The Regional Observatory of Human Resources for Health focus its work.

  • Define long-range policies and plans to better adapt the work force so it will be prepared to meet expected changes in the health systems and to better develop of the institutional capacity for defining these policies and revising them periodically.  
  • Place the right people in the right places of the countries, so as to achieve an equitable distribution of quantity and skill set with health workers in the different regions able to meet the specific health needs of those populations.  
  • Develop mechanisms to manage movements of workers, improving the recruitment and retention of health professionals in needy areas and mitigating the negative consequences of inevitable movement of health providers.  At the same time, develop systems to benefit from immigration of health professionals into the country.  
  • Provide the workforce with effective management and compensation systems so as to foster commitment to the institutional mission, productive performance, and dedication to the highest quality and best practices in care delivery. 
  • Develop mechanisms of cooperation between educational bodies /health professional associations and health services so that health professionals receive the education and training that will prepare them to meet the health needs of the entire population with equitable and quality coverage.  

For more information about The Regional Observatory of Human Resources for Health click here.

1 Source: Source: PAHO. CD50/11.  50th Directing Council. Washington, D.C., USA, 27 September – 1 October 2010

2 Pan American Health Organization. “Regional Goals for Human Resources for Health 2007-2015” (Document CSP27/10). 27th Pan American Sanitary Conference, 59th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas; 2007 Oct. 1-5; Washington (DC). Washington (DC): PAHO; 2007

Goal 3: All countries will have developed primary health care teams with a broad range of competencies that will systematically include community health workers to improve access, reach out to vulnerable groups, and mobilize community networks.

Goal 8: Seventy percent of nurses, nursing auxiliaries, and health technicians, including community health workers, will have upgraded their skills and competencies appropriate to the complexities of their functions.

Goal 15: At least 60% of health services and program managers will fulfill specific requirements for public health and management competencies, including ethics


Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 11:56

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