Cross-national comparisons of human resources for health - what can we learn?

Dubois, CA; McKee, M; (2006) Cross-national comparisons of human resources for health - what can we learn? Health economics, policy, and law, 1 (Pt 1). pp. 59-78. ISSN 1744-1331 DOI:

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After a long period of neglect, the issue of human resources for health (HRH) has recently emerged as a core component on the international health agenda, with policy makers increasingly eager to learn from experience elsewhere. This article investigates systematically the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of cross-national comparisons of HRH policies and practices. It reviews the evidence in favour of using international comparative studies on HRH, discusses emerging opportunities for developing a cross-national research agenda to guide HRH policies in Europe, and highlights obstacles which may hinder the implementation of comparative studies on HRH. While demonstrating many opportunities offered by the comparative approach to improve understanding of human resources processes in the health sector, this article also emphasizes the dangers of simplistic pleas for the transfer of human resource policies without taking into account the context-specific factors and the generative capacity of the social actors in the design and implementation of policy changes.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 18634703
Web of Science ID: 208038400005


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