Health workers are "all people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance health" (World Health Report 2006).
Workers in health systems around the world are experiencing increasing stress and insecurity as they react to a complex array of forces. Ageing population, new diseases as well as increasing burden of current diseases, escalating conflicts and violence, are all challenges to which the workforce must be prepared to respond.
The unmistakable imperative is to strengthen the workforce so that health systems can tackle crippling diseases and achieve national and global health goals. A strong human infrastructure is fundamental to closing today’s gap between health promise and health reality, and anticipating the health challenges of the 21st century.