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Employment Promotion in the Health Sector of Developing Countries

Background Paper on Education and Training for Health Workers


Employment Promotion in the Health Sector of Developing Countries

In many developing countries, the lack of skilled health workers has reached crisis point. Growing and aging populations, increasing disease burdens, underfunding of health systems and, as part of this, a lack of investment in professional training and health workforce development are the main causes for this global challenge.

At the same time, health systems tend to be amongst most countries’ largest employers and can, if they function well, drive economic growth by ensuring a considerable number of safe and rewarding jobs as well as a healthy and productive population.

Employment is therefore a key topic in the health sector. Quality healthcare can only be guaranteed if governments recognize the importance of education, further training and ongoing personnel development for the health sector, and therefore undertake the necessary reforms and investments.

This background paper, conceived by the team of the Global Programme Health System Strengthening in August 2016, provides the background and an initial framework for discussion of this topic as it relates to German development cooperation. It presents an integrated approach to employment promotion in the health sector, aiming to boost staff’s employability for both public and private service providers through education and training combined with proactive labour market policies which reconcile the demand and supply of health workers.


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