Health workers are crucial in the preparedness and response of COVID-19, but the pandemic has evidenced the shortage of human resources for health in certain countries, together with a lack of protective equipment and timely protocols to address occupational, health, and safety issues. Health workers have been infected by the virus with consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality; consequently, the available staff workload is expected to increase.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed health workforce shortages in countries, it has also led to identifying ways to rapidly hire and train the health workforce. The recognition and understanding of the mechanisms used by countries (such as recruitment processes, type of redeployment, and incentives), will provide evidence on ways to address health worker shortages during such outbreaks and therefore implementation gaps will be reduced.
This publication informs and analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on health workers' occupational health and safety issues and working conditions, as well as policy responses to address these issues and to increase human resources for health surge capacity in Belize, Grenada, and Jamaica. This publication also describes elements related to human resources for health and COVID-19 vaccination in the selected countries and aims to present and share experiences from Belize, Grenada, and Jamaica, which represent different areas of the Caribbean. It will also inform the HRH Action Task Force which will be able to contribute to the technical cooperation and human resources for health management support. The target audience includes policymakers, academics, and researchers on addressing health worker issues during health emergencies.