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Human Resources and the Success of Health Sector Reform

Martineau, Tim ORCID: and Buchan, James (2000) 'Human Resources and the Success of Health Sector Reform'. Human Resource Development Journal, Vol 4, Issue 3, pp. 174-183.

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Though reforms in the health sector have recently been common around the world, their success has, for a variety of reasons, been mixed. The paper aims to examine and explain the importance of human resources (HR) to the success or failure of health reforms using case studies from Russia, Zambia and the United Kingdom. Health sector reform often focuses on changes in financing or organisational structure, but neglects a key resource - the staff. This may result in inappropriately skilled staff for new tasks, poorly motivated staff, or even serious opposition to the reforms. Though reforms present many challenges in relation to the management of human resources, they also provide opportunities for alleviating long-standing staffing problems - such as the management of staff performance. Better staffing will contribute to the success of health reforms. The complexity of managing staff is greatly increased at times of reforms and the reasons for failure to meet challenges and take up opportunities are many. However, based on experience of reforms around the world the authors suggest that the root of the problem is in the general lack of experience and relevant skills around managing HR in the context of reforms.
The priority actions proposed are:
1. Awareness raising: creating better understanding of policy makers and managers of human resource management and planning, especially in relation to reforms.
2. Capacity building: creating the structures and capacities to implement appropriate HR strategies to support health reforms.
3. Adequate preparation of the workforce for changes due to reforms - especially where conditions of employment are affected.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Russia; Zambia; United Kingdom; Human resources; Personnel; Health professionals; Health reform; Human resource management; Labour relations
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 21.5 Allied health personnel. Allied health professions
W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 21 Medicine as a profession.
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
Faculty: Department: Pre 2002
Depositing User: Users 86 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2011 10:24
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 10:12


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