Developing Health Workforce Policy in the Global-National Nexus

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 11 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Tuba AGARTAN, Providence College, USA
SDG 3 aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all. However, many health care systems are faced with health workforce challenges that constrain their attempts to provide universal access to high quality health services. Therefore, Article 3c of the SDG 3 argues for increasing “health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States”. These countries face serious health workforce challenges such as shortages and unequal distribution of health staff and facilities, the functional mix and problems with training. On the other hand, health human resource management has recently moved into policy agenda of many developed countries as well as global agencies. In European countries sources of health workforce challenges differ: aging and its impact in terms of decreasing human resources and increasing demand for health services, austerity policies, and migration flows are discussed as major challenges. Focusing on the Turkish health care system and its health workforce challenges, this paper explores the influence of global policy actors such as the OECD, the WHO and World Bank. These global actors have been playing a growing role in documenting the major challenges as well as developing strategies that address a myriad of economic, professional, individual, and social factors. However, what is the impact of these global strategies on national health workforce policy? The paper aims to answer this question through a review of secondary sources such as official reform documents and statistical information from national and international databases. While the 2030 Agenda and the reports of global policy actors put clear targets for health human resource development, Turkey’s health workforce policy has been shaped largely by domestic factors, especially the continuous conflict with some of the representatives of health workforce.