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Challenges in Health Workforce Planning: Caring for a Healthy Health Workforce

Abstract

Health workforce (HWF) is a cornerstone of every healthcare system and has a key role in the operation of high quality and safe healthcare provisions. Health policy often carries out strategic HWF development and planning and considers macro-level factors that might influence the operation and sustainability of the system. However, the following are often neglected from this perspective: mental health and well-being characteristics of the HWF. Mental health promotion is an essential dimension of any HWF development, since health professionals belong to a highly vulnerable profession, facing physical, mental, and emotional challenges in their daily routine. Additionally, chronic stress and the lack of supportive working environment might result in burnout. Several research studies have aimed to study different aspects of burnout (e.g., stages, volume, etc.) and identified holistic approaches to cope with emerging challenges. The present chapter aims to review contemporary literature and emphasize significant topics related to improving mental health and HWF development. As key messages, we underline the importance of the holistic approach and the role and responsibility of multiple environments. Policy makers, organizational management, and health professionals are inevitable stakeholders in developing mental health and well-being of HWF, such as ensuring sustainable and resilient HWF for providing care to population needs in a long time run. Stakeholders on all level (individual, organizational and policy) should define explicit interventions jointly in order to analyze the situation, monitor changes, educate the HWF, and prepare suitable programs improving mental health.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    WHO Europe Region covers a wider range of countries than the EU MS, it also covers non-EU countries.

  2. 2.

    OECD definition of employee FTE: “Full-time equivalent employment is the number of full-time equivalent jobs, defined as total hours worked divided by average annual hours worked in full-time jobs.”

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Correspondence to Eszter Kovacs .

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Kovacs, E., Tandari-Kovacs, M., Kozak, A. (2019). Challenges in Health Workforce Planning: Caring for a Healthy Health Workforce. In: Okpaku, S. (eds) Innovations in Global Mental Health. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70134-9_78-1

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