World health report

Chapter 4

Making the most of existing health workers

A country’s health workforce is made up of health workers who are at many different stages of their working lives; they work in many different organizations and under changing conditions and pressures. Whatever the circumstances, an effective workforce strategy has to focus on three core challenges: improving recruitment, helping the existing workforce to perform better, and slowing the rate at which workers leave the health workforce. This chapter explores the second of these challenges: optimizing the performance of current workers.

In this chapter

  • What is a well-performing health workforce?
  • What determines how health workers perform?
  • What influences health workers’ performance?
  • How are levers linked to the four dimensions of workforce performance?
  • Conclusion