Fifth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

Fifth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health
Fifth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

Parallel Session - Region of the Americas

Human Resources for Health Policy Development From evidence and dialogue to implementation to action

Date: 3 April 2023

Time: 11 a.m - 12.30 p.m. (EDT)

Languages:  English and Spanish interpretation

Registration link for virtual participation


Health human resources (HRH) have been the critical actors in the pandemic response and remain imperative for the ongoing social and economic recovery and for building the resilient health systems of the future.

The pandemic has once again highlighted the chronic deficit and poor distribution of HRH in the Americas Region, as well as the lack of policies, strategic planning processes, and sufficient investment in the production, training, and professional development of an adequate health workforce in many countries. Recent estimates of the availability of HRH required to meet SDG targets 3.8.1 showed that between 66.0% and 93.9% of LAC countries still need to complete the proposed minimum thresholds. The HRH gap in the Americas Region is estimated to range between 600,000 and 2 million health professionals in 2030.

COVID-19 had a multidimensional impact on HRH. Case studies have helped identify common problems affecting HRH during the pandemic and the policy responses countries implemented. These findings highlight the crucial need to increase investments in job creation, training, and improved employment conditions and well-being of health workers to achieve universal coverage and global health security. The Andean and Caribbean sub-regions have built a broad policy dialogue to identify challenges and strategies. 

This forum will contribute to constructing these actions within the framework of exchanging experiences and strategies between countries around HRH.

  1. Analyze the main experiences focused on the policy response during COVID-19. 

  2. Identify the general lines that allow progress in developing, adopting, implementing, and evaluating HRH policies.

  3. Identify elements common to countries where integration mechanisms can be strategic partners.


Moderator: Silvia Cassiani, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)


Background and circumstances that allowed countries to advance dialogue, development, and implementation of HRH policy. Impact of COVID-19 on HRH and Policy Response: Case Studies in Countries of the Region.  Benjamin Puertas, Unit Chief, Human Resources for Health, PAHO/WHO

HRH policy development in the Americas: Dialogue to implementation. Member States presentation: 

  • Caribbean: Lizeth Bell, Deputy Director of Hospital Services, Chief Nursing Officer, Belize, Chair HRH-Caribbean Commission

  • South America: Raquel Child Goldenberg, Chief, Office of Cooperation and International Affairs (OCAI), Ministry of Health of Chile

  • Central America: César Gamboa Peñaranda, Director of Health Services, Costa Rica; Gloriana Mora Cascante, Unif Chief, Human Resources for Health Unit, Ministry of Health, Costa Rica

  • Comments by integration mechanisms: CARICOM, ORAS-COHNU, COMISCA: 

    • Alejandra Acuña Navarro, Executive Secretary, COMISCA

    • Curvelle David, Deputy Programme Manager, Health Sector Development, CARICOM

    • María del Carmen Calle, Executive Secretary, ORAS – CONHU

Strengthening the Health Workforce: Opportunities

  • Americas Health Corps: framework. James Fitzgerald, Director, Department of Health Systems and Services, PAHO/WHO

  • Capacity building in Guyana's HRH. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, Guyana


Interpretation available in English and Spanish.