Human Resources in Health


At the end of this curricular unit it is expected that the student are able to:
1. Familiarize with Health Workforce key concepts, terminology, frameworks, and policies aimed at SDG, UHC and the WHO global strategy.
2. Identify and describe different components of health systems that affect Health Workforce.
3. Assess in different countries political approaches to Health Workforce aimed at improving the functioning of health systems.
4. Understand the effects of the 2008 economic crisis in Health Workforce policies.
5. Understand the importance of Health Labor Market analysis to appreciate the Health Workforce Force policy development process.
6. Identify and describe the different components of Health Labor Market.
7. Understand the concepts of Health workforce leadership, governance and management.
8. Identify different management practices, types of leadership and governance structures of Health Workforce to promote effective changes in health systems.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Tiago Correia


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 40

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• WHO (2016). Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030. Geneva: WHO.
• WHO, OECD, and World Bank. (2018). Delivering quality health services: a global imperative for universal coverage.
• WHO (2011) Monitoring The Building Blocks of Health Systems: a Handbook of Indicators and their Measurement Strategies.
• Barbazza, E, Langins, M, Kluge, H and Tello. (2015). Health workforce governance: Processes, tools and actors towards a competent workforce for integrated health services delivery.
• WHO (2013). Transforming and scaling up health professionals’ education and training: World Health Organization guidelines 2013.
• McPake, B, Maeda A, Araujo E, Lemiere C, Maghraby A, Cometto G (2013). "Why do health labour market forces matter?" Bull World Health Organ 91(11): 841-846.
• Sousa A, Scheffler RM, Nyoni J, Boerma T (2013). A comprehensive health labour market framework for universal health coverage. Bulletin of the WHO.
• Kwamie A (2015). Balancing management and leadership in complex health systems; comment on “Management matters: a leverage point for health systems strengthening in global health”. Int J Health Policy Manage. 4(12):849–851.
• Orlikoff JE (2006). Old board/new board: governance in an era of accountability, Front Health Serv Manag, vol. 51: 337-391.
• WHO (2014). Health Systems Governance for Universal Health Coverage: Action Plan. Geneva: WHO.
• Scheffler RM, Herbst CH, Lemiere C, Campbell J, editors. 2016. Health labour market analysis in low- and middle-income countries: An evidence-based approach (chapter 2). Washington, DC: World Bank.
• Vujicic M, Zurn P. The dynamics of the health labour market. Int J Health Plann Manage 2006; 21:101–15. doi: Cometto, G., Scheffler, R.M., Bruckner, T., Liu, J., Maeda, A., Tomblin-Murphy, G., Hunter, D., and Campbell, J. (2017). Health workforce needs, demand and shortages to 2030: an overview of forecasted trends in the global health labour market (Chapter 1) in Health Employment and Economic Growth: An Evidence Base. Geneva: World Health Organization.
• WHO. A Labour Market Approach to Investing in the Health and Social Workforce to achieve the SDGs.
• Sarros JC, Cooper BK, Santora JC (2008). Building a climate for innovation through transformational leadership and organizational culture. J Leader Organ Stud. 15:145–158.
• World Health Organization (2007). Managing the health Millennium Development Goals: the challenge of management strengthening, lessons from three countries – making health systems work. Geneva: World Health Organization.
• Dow A., Appelbaum N., DiazGranados D. (2015) Leadership Frameworks for Interprofessional Learning. In: Forman D., Jones M., Thistlethwaite J. (eds) Leadership and Collaboration. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
• Reinertsen JL, Bisognano M, Pugh MD. (2008). Seven Leadership Leverage Points for Organization-Level Improvement in Health Care (Second Edition). IHI Innovation Series white paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
• Dieleman M, Gerretsen B, Van Der Wilt GJ (2009). Human resource management interventions to improve health workers’ performance in low and middle income countries: a realist review. Health Res Policy Syst. 7(7).

Teaching method

This curricular unit uses different teaching-learning methodologies, both in-class and through the students’ independent work. In-class activities include theoretical and theoretical-practical lectures, discussions and debates. Students’ independent work consists of reading scientific literature to follow up the in-class activities and prepare the individual essay. The teacher’s tutorial supervision complements the learning process whenever students request it.

Evaluation method

The assessment consists of in-class oral presentations based on selected bibliography (50%) and the writing of one individual essay (50%).

Subject matter

I. Overview of Health Workforce environment.
II. Health Workforce in health systems.
III. Health Workforce regulation and labor market dynamics.
IV. Health Workforce management, leadership and governance.


Programs where the course is taught: