WHO's 2006 World Health Report 'a disappointment'

While the World Health Organization's focus on human resources for health in its 2006 World Health Report (WHR) is welcome, the lack of detailed data in the report is disappointing, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

The WHR shares its human resources theme with World Health Day on April 7. Many countries have critical shortages of health workers. The WHR hopes to provide detailed data on human-resource gaps and needs to help governments make resource decisions but falls far short of this aim, states the editorial. While it does have updated figures and estimates, it contains very little information about the geographical distribution of workers, types and levels of skills, and the balance between the public and private sectors.

The Lancet comments: "The patchy and incomplete picture presented in the WHR shows just how much of a gap exist between current knowledge and what is necessary to inform policymaking. Having recognised the importance of human resources to health, WHO must now ensure its own human resources can cope with the analytical burden of turning its workforce plans into action."


Contact: Udani Samarasekera

Page: 1

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