Latin America and Caribbean Countries Advance in the Development of Human Resources for Health (HRH) Information Systems

Published Mar 4, 2024

Identifying the maturity conditions of each one of the systems will help guide cooperation actions at the country level. On the other hand, in an intersectoral and fragmented field such as the HRH, data is the property of different government actors in the educational, health, labor, and finance sectors, as well as the private sector, social security, and professional associations in each country. A broad vision regarding this map of actors will facilitate the identification of strategies to form alliances that favor information sharing.

To improve data analysis and effectively plan the health workforce in the region, a Health Labor Market Analysis (HLMA) becomes necessary. It can identify trends and provide a comprehensive understanding of the key factors influencing the supply and demand of health workers, improving forecast and planning for the health worker needs of the future and guiding short-term strategies to address immediate issues. Therefore, when initiating an HLMA in a country, it is important first to assess the implementation of NHWA. Depending on the situation, it may be advised to strengthen the implementation of NHWA in the country, using the network of stakeholders involved.

At the global level, given the requirements of the National Health Workforce Account, in particular, the categorization of health professions has been a challenge with the available International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). The countries' diverse professions, denominations, and regulations require a particular study in the region, allowing for better understanding and comparability.

The experiences of the region's countries allow for identifying good practices on these issues and enrich the vision and options for developing and improving HRH information systems. For this reason, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) held a timely regional workshop on "Development of Human Resources for Health Information Systems (HRHIS) in the Americas," on 11-15 September 2023 in Panama with 90 participants and experts from 37 countries in the Americas, PAHO, and the World Health Organization. The event aimed to address structural issues for HRHIS development and consolidation at the national level and their integration at the regional and global levels. It promoted cooperation in the use of evidence and the exchange of knowledge among the region's countries to improve planning and management of human resources in health. Each topic discussed contributed to advancing the understanding and capacity for action of health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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