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Human Resources for Health in India: Strategic Options for Transforming Health Systems Towards Improving Health Service Delivery and Public Health

Zodpey, Sanjay, Negandhi, Himanshu and Tiwari, Ritika ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5078-8989 (2021) Human Resources for Health in India: Strategic Options for Transforming Health Systems Towards Improving Health Service Delivery and Public Health. Journal of Health Management, 23 (1).

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The health workforce is the channel for delivering health interventions to populations. A critical mass of health professionals is necessary to manage a health system and is often a crucial limiting factor in the delivery of quality health services. India’s current situation, juxtaposed with its medium-term and long-term HRH (human resources for health) requirements, necessitates reassessing the policy levers that are available at the national level.
To suggest strategic options to recommend India’s way forward to meet challenges related to health service delivery and public health with an HRH focus.
We reviewed and compared studies from different countries which focused on strengthening HRH at the national level. A two-step approach towards identifying and selecting HRH strategic options was adopted: desk review and discussions. A list of strategic options for reforming the current state of HRH in India was developed on the basis of lessons learnt from the review. These options were then scored and plotted on a grid (for innovation, disruption, difficulty of implementation, budget for implementation, importance and time period for implementation) in discussion with experts.
Based on the lessons learnt, eight strategic options were suggested for India: instituting a national HRH body; developing partnership models for the public sector and the private sector; setting benchmark HRH ratios; allocating at least 2.5% of the GDP to health; allocating at least 25% of all development assistance for health to HRH; halving the current levels of disparity in health worker distribution between urban and rural areas; evaluating HRH support through the National Health Mission (NHM); and maintaining a live register of HRH.
The research is timely as India moves towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a particular focus on universal health coverage (UHC) and Ayushman Bharat Yojana. The suggested strategic options for the way forward shall help India in dealing with the current health crisis to emerge with a strong public health system.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0972063421995005
School/Department: London Campus
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/8545

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