588.2 Gendering health human resource policy and management: A scoping exercise of Canada, Australia and Germany

Friday, August 3, 2012: 2:50 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Ellen KUHLMANN , University of Bath, United Kingdom
Ivy BOURGEAULT , University of Ottawa, Canada
Christa LARSEN , Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Toni SCHOFIELD , University of Sydney, Australia
Across countries, shortages and many cases of inefficient use of qualified staff together with changes in the composition of the professional workforce by age, gender and citizenship have created an urgent call for more efficient health workforce governance and substantive organizational reform. In this paper we bring a gender lens to the health human resource (HHR) policy, planning and management. We apply a context-sensitive comparative approach using case studies drawn from Australia, Canada and Germany. In terms of method we draw on a literature review and document analysis and other research carried out by the authors. Our findings highlight different things. First, an emergent field of HHR does not fully ignore gender issues, but creates new forms of ‘limited inclusion’ of gender as sex category that sits more easily with the technocratic nature of HHR and the wider public sector management. This revival of the sex category in HHR as a substitute of complex gendered dynamics is reinforced by an overall disconnection between gender research and HHR debates. Second, changes in the institutional governance arrangements, in the health professions and the organizations together with the educational system intersect and shape the specific outcome of gendered workforce dynamics. In summary, the international perspective brings the intersecting dynamics of a gendered health workforce into view that need to be addressed more systematically in health human resource policy and management.